Last updated 9:15AM ET
October 17, 2017
WOUB Local News
WOUB Local News
Nelsonville excavation sheds light on Native American life
(2008-08-31)
(WOUB) - Ohio University archeology professor Elliot Abrams now knows a lot more about the Native Americans who lived in Athens County hundreds of years ago.

Working with a group of students this summer and the summer of 2006, Abrams uncovered a 2,000-year-old homestead in Nelsonville.

Because it was the most intact, Abrmas says it was the best one he's found in the Hocking Valley in his 20 years of doing excavations there.

"Because the site was never plowed we were able to find the architecture itself," Abrams says. "So we have a front entrance to one of the houses, the main house that we excavated, and it's a curved wall, that in a sense formed like a front door, a front entrance. And nobody ever gets this kind of stuff."

What they found suggests a community of 15 to 20 people lived in the structure for a significant amount of time.

They come from the same group that built the burial mounds in The Plains.

But Abrams says that's not the big find - there's plenty of data about the mounds.

What's important is that the site sheds more light on the lives of the Native Americans who lived there.

"What looks like a small, isolated community, self sufficient economically, actually wasn't that at all," Abrams says. "One of their great achievements - that we're learning more about and trying to understand more - is the mechanisims through which they connected with all these other communities."

Abrams says the site was 100 percent excavated and has since been filled in.
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