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Blaine County

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Blaine County, Oklahoma

34BL46

34BL46 is a camp or village site perched high above an unnamed spring-fed stream and canyon in Blaine County. A half-mile walk south along the canyon edge provides a spectacular overview of the Canadian River valley. First identified in 1977, the site was re-investigated during a 2001-2002 survey project funded by the State Historic Preservation Office, the National Park Service and the Oklahoma Archeological Survey. A total of 93 sites were recorded in Custer and Blaine counties during the survey. The site has never been given a name and is referred to by the archaeological numbering system used in the United States. 34 is Oklahoma's designation, BL is for Blaine County, and the 46 represents the 46th site recorded for Blaine County in the Oklahoma Archeological Survey site files.

Materials recovered from BL46 include two points which probably date to the late Archaic or Woodland periods (see the Oklahoma Timeline for an explanation of these periods). However, pottery sherds dating to the early Plains Village period indicate that the site might have been occupied several times over a thousand or more years. The early Plains Village period for the Canadian River drainage has not been well-studied but is probably similar to the same period for the Washita River south of the Canadian (for information on Washita River sites, see Garvin County and the Southern Plains Villagers website). The Brewer Site is an early Late Prehistoric site on the Canadian River in McClain County.

Dart points from Bl-46

Dart points from BL46

The pottery sherds, shown below, are cordmarked, a technique of surface finish in which a wooden paddle was wrapped with cord and then impressed into the wet clay before the pot was fired. Cordmarked pottery is usually found on Woodland or early Plains Village sites.

Pottery sherds from Bl-46

Pottery sherds from BL46

Not far from this prehistoric site, archaeologists found another interesting site which may be prehistoric or may date to the early 1900s. Along the same stream, a series of steps were notched in the sandstone along the west wall providing a means of crossing this deep canyon. Long-time Oklahoma residents of the area recall that such steps were often made with an old axe to provide a shorter route for school children or to access fields. The sandstone steps are shown in the image below.

Sandstone steps

 

Number of Prehistoric Sites in Blaine County Identified to Time Period

Chart of Blaine County Prehistoric Sites

 

 


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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