Heaton Farm

Heaton Farm

What is Heaton Farm?

Heaton Farm (12Gr0122), once a late pre-Columbian village occupied around A.D. 1420, is located along the western fork of the White River in Greene County, Indiana. Archaeological research at the Farm began in 1996 with surface collection. More extensive excavations took place during an Indiana University field school in 1998, uncovering the remains of ceramic material, structural trenches, and pits. The ceramic material identifies two contemporaneous phases: Vincennes and Oliver (Strezewski) Other materials such as projectile points identify the additional Historic, Allison-LaMotte, and Terminal Archaic phases. Evidence of the Allison-LaMotte phase is particularly significant due to its implication of an earlier occupation phase, dating between A.D. 300 and 700.

The Archaeology of Heaton Farm

A spatial analysis of the uncovered evidence has indicated various patterns of occupation that can be matched with the Vincennes and Oliver cultures; pottery identified as belonging to the Vincennes culture is primarily condensed to the eastern side of the site while Oliver-associated pottery is more widely distributed. Further analysis reveals that this phase of occupation kept residential structures contained to the east with storage and disposal pits located to the west. Other identified storage/disposal pits associated with the earlier Allison-LaMotte phase are also contained to the eastern side and, as with the later pits, functioned as food storage containments before becoming disposal units. The remains interned within these pits include pottery that is representative of both the Vincennes and Oliver peoples as well as the preserved remnants of corn, squash, tobacco, and wild plants.

Further research into the residential structures of the Mississippian time period, based in historical document research as well as excavation, has revealed a possible alignment of the entrances with the winter solstice sunrise, an alignment known to be common for typical Mississippian structures. This alignment would place the structures at an angle facing 32 degrees east of true north although further investigation is required to confirm the alignment at Heaton Farm (Strezewski).

Heaton Farm at the GBL

The Glenn Black Lab houses a collection of over 8,800 catalogue numbers from the Heaton Farm site primarily via IU field school projects. This collection consists mostly of pottery sherds as well as a number of small clay wheels such as the one pictured to the right.

Recommended Reading

Ball, Stephen J. Investigations at the Heaton Farm Site (12Gr122): A Fifteenth Century Village in Greene County, Indiana. Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology Research Reports, No. 19. Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2003.

Bush, Leslie L. Boundary Conditions: Macrobotanical Remains and the Oliver Phase of Central Indiana, A.D. 1200-1450. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2004.

"How Much is Enough?: An Experiment in Flotation Sampling Strategy from the Heaton Farm Site, 12Gr122". Indiana Archaeology, 2(1): 144-181, 1998.

Flora (Heaton Farm). In Investigations at the Heaton Farm Site (12Gr122): A Fifteenth Century Village in Greene County, Indiana, edited by Stephen Ball, pp. 52-56. Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology Research Reports No. 19. Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2003.

Strezewski, Michael. “Current Research at the Heaton Farm Site: A Late Prehistoric Village in South-Central Indiana.” Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology.

Tomak, Curtis H. Aboriginal Occupations in the Vicinity of Greene County, Indiana. Master's thesis, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1970.

"A Proposed Prehistoric Cultural Sequence for a Section of the Valley of the West Fork of the White River in Southwestern Indiana." Tennessee Anthropologist, 8(1): 67-94 (1983).