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Nowata County

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120 reported archeological sites for Nowata County to date

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The Lawrence Site

Excavation at the Lawrence site.

This site, located on the Verdigris River, was home to a group of hunter/gatherers in the period known by archeologists as the Archaic period. The site was first occupied over 3500 years ago and visited regularly as a camp in the seasonal rounds of this nomadic group. The river valley and upland areas provided game and a variety of plant foods for the people at the Lawrence site. The big game animal, deer, was hunted with spears thrown with the help of a throwing stick called an atlatl. The spears were tipped with stone points chipped from chert gathered in Kay County to the west and from the Ozark Mountains to the east.


Clay lined hearth.

Clay lined hearth from Lawrence Site

Some time around 2700 years ago, though, the camp became a more permanent home with small houses. The hunters from this time began using a new technology, the bow and arrow. The wild game and gathered plants were baked in rock ovens and hearths.

In the winter time, the people of the Lawrence site left the river terrace and moved up into rock shelters which could more easily be kept warm. The Lawrence people also used rock shelters to bury the dead.

By 2500 years ago, the Lawrence site was abandoned. People had lived repeatedly at the site for over a thousand years. The descendants of the Lawrence site people did not disappear, however. They continued living in the area, but their culture had changed over time as they began to take up the beginnings of farming, learned to make pottery and began to use the bow and arrow almost exclusively.

For further reading, consult:
Middle Holocene Archeology in Northeastern Oklahoma by William L. Neal and Richard R. Drass (Oklahoma Anthropological Society Bulletin 47, 1998).
The Lawrence Site, Nw-6: A Non-ceramic Site in Nowata County by Jane Baldwin (Bulletin of the Oklahoma. Oklahoma Anthropological Society Bulletin 18 1969).


Prehistoric Sites in Nowata County Identified to Time Period

Chart of sites by time period.

Paleo = ?-8,000 BP / Archaic = 8,000-2,000 BP / Woodland = 2,000-1,000 BP / Village 1000-500 BP
BP (before present)


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