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Mueller Site (23CL453)

The Mueller site was identified during the preliminary design to replace a bridge over Second Creek and the subsequent realignment of MO. Route 92 in Clay County.  The site is located on an upland ridge 1.75 miles south of the Little Platte River.  MoDOT archaeologists excavated the site after it could not be avoided.

Nebo Hill projectile point

The Mueller site was occupied during the Late Archaic Period (4 radiocarbon dates have 1-sigma calibrated results that give a date range of 1190 B.C. to 540 B.C.) and again during the Late Woodland Period (1 radiocarbon date with a 1-sigma calibrated result of A.D. 560 to A.D. 640).  Forty-two cultural features, which include hearths, deep and shallow pits, postmolds, limestone scatters, and a pottery scatter, were identified and excavated.  Based upon diagnostic artifacts, archaeologists interpreted six of these features to be affiliated with the Late Archaic period, and ten of the features with the Late Woodland period.  The remaining features’ cultural affiliation could not be determined due to a mixing of artifacts from both periods.

Artifacts diagnostic of the Late Archaic include lanceolate Nebo Hill points and the three-quarter-grooved axe.  Late Woodland diagnostics include corner-notched or shallow side-notched projectile points, including one smaller example that is believed to be an arrow point.  Ceramics, which are primarily grit-tempered, have generally plain surfaces, although cordmarked examples are present to a lesser degree.

Analyses of recovered artifacts indicate that the Late Archaic inhabitants at the site were involved in hunting, animal processing, plant processing, woodworking, animal hide working, bone working, chert heat-treatment, stone tool manufacturing, and stone tool maintenance.  Late Woodland inhabitants at the site were involved in hunting, animal processing, digging for roots, chert heat-treatment, stone tool manufacturing, stone tool maintenance, and pottery production.  A unique finding during the investigations was the late dates associated with the Nebo Hill component.

Mueller site picsA technical report, entitled The Mueller Site, Archaeological Investigations of Site 23CL164, Route 92, Clay County, Missouri (2006), was completed for the project.  These investigations are summarized in an article, “Archaeological Investigations at the Mueller Site (23CL453)” in the Missouri Archaeological Society Quarterly (2005, Vol. 22, No.1, pp 6-8).  The site was also the focus of public presentations








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