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Pottawatomie County

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Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma

The Rose-Fast Site

Burned rock feature from the Rose-Fast site

The Rose-Fast site is a Woodland period base camp on a terrace in a bend of the Little River. Excavations at the site in 1985 uncovered several burned rock features which probably represent rock ovens and a trash pit. One radiocarbon date from the site returned a date of AD 400; however, the number of artifacts found from the site probably indicates the site was occupied over hundreds of years.

The site was reported to the Oklahoma Archeological Survey by the landowner who had an extensive collection of artifacts from the site. He allowed archaeologists to photograph his collection (see the arrowpoints in the figure below) and also allowed them to conduct the 1985 excavation as part of a study of the archaeology of the Cross Timbers area of the Little River valley.

The Woodland period (AD 1 to 1000) is marked by the beginning of the use of pottery and the appearance of the bow and arrow which gradually supplanted the spear as the weapon of choice of prehistoric hunters. The few pottery sherds recovered in the excavations at Rose-Fast were a thick, cordmarked ware common to the period. Both arrowpoints and dart points are found in abundance at the site, probably another indication of the site's long occupation.

No evidence of horticulture was found at the site. While Woodland period people east of Oklahoma were tending gardens of sunflowers and other native domesticated plants, it seems likely that horticulture did not become common in Oklahoma until around AD 1000. However, the Rose-Fast site occupants did gather wild plants as evidenced by the charred hickory nut shells found in the excavated trash pit. Unfortunately, preservation of organic remains at the site is very poor due to the sandy, slightly acidic soil so some burned deer and bison bone and the nutshells are the only evidence of the Rose-Fast diet which have survived.

Shaped mussel shell ornaments

Scallorn arrowpoints from the Rose-Fast site.

Number of Prehistoric Sites in Pottawatomie County Identified to Time Period

Chart showing site numbers in Pott County



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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