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Boschert Site (23SC609)

The Boschert site was identified during the preliminary redesign of the interchange between I-70 and State Route 79 in St. Charles County.  The site is located on the crest and upper slopes of a small upland knoll approximately 0.7 km from Dardenne Creek and 1.5 km from the Mississippi River valley.  MoDOT archaeologists excavated the site once it was determined that adverse impacts to the site could not be avoided.

pottery rim sherdsLarge-scale excavation of the site was started in the fall of 1985 and continued intermittently through the spring of 1986.  Hand excavation, followed by mechanical stripping of the plowzone produced diagnostic artifacts from the Late Woodland Period and revealed 115 cultural features.  The features are in a generally diffused pattern across the site, although some clustering of features did occur.  Shallow basin pits were the most commonly identified feature closely followed by deep basins and bell-shaped pits.  No evidence of structures was identified during the excavation.  There was also very little superimposition of features.  Interpreted functions of these features include cooking facilities, storage facilities, and refuge-disposal pits. 

Over 6500 rim and body sherds were recovered from features at the Boschert site.  Rim sherds made up approximately 6% of the ceramic assemblage.  The ceramics recovered from the site are primarily grit-grog tempered.  Five rim types were defined for the assemblage:  Type I, cordwrapped-dowel impression on the interior lip; Type II, plain-dowel, notched or slash impression on the interior lip; Type III, undecorated lips; Type IV, decoration (e.g., cordwrapped-dowel, plain-dowel, notched or slash) on superior or exterior lip surface; and Type IV, rims with punctations.

The recovered lithic assemblage is comprised of chert tools and debitage, groundstone, limestone, and unmodified rock.  Formal tools identified in the assemblage include projectile points, gouges, scrapers, drills, abraders, axes, and a single discodial (chunkey stone).  The projectile points consisted of small bifacially flaked arrowpoints and large bifacially flaked hafted bifaces.

Ten wood and nutshell charcoal samples from separate pit features were submitted for radiocarbon dating.  Eight of the ten radiocarbon dates significantly overlap with
a date range of A.D. 660 to A.D. 990 (1 Sigma calibrated results).  The other two radiocarbon dates overlap with a range of A.D. 420 to A.D. 640 (1 Sigma calibrated results).  The majority of the radiocarbon dates indicate the site was occupied primarily during the latter portion of the Late Woodland Period.

The lack of structures and superimposing of features led the investigators to interpret the Boschert site as a Late Woodland short-term camp.  A technical report has been produced on the results of the investigation, The BoschertSite (23SC609):  A Late Woodland Extraction Site in the Uplands of St. Charles County, Missouri (1988).  An article, “The Boschert Site (23SC609):  A Patrick Phase Upland Extraction Site” was published in the Missouri Archaeological Society Quarterly (Vol. 5, No. 3, July-September 1988).

examples of hafted bifaces and arrowpoints




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