The Armstrong site: Defining the Bluff Creek phase for south central Kansas
The Bluff Creek complex is a series of archeological sites along the Bluff Creek drainage system in Harper and Sumner Counties in south central Kansas. It is one of the least well understood archaeological complexes of the Middle Ceramic Period (A.D. 900-1500). The recent excavation of a series of features at the Armstrong site (14HP5) in Harper County, Kansas provides new data which serves to bring the archaeological record of south-central Kansas into sharper focus. New radiocarbon dates provide solid footing for the temporal placement of Bluff Creek among its contemporaries in the southern and central Plains and substantial artifact inventories allow for the comparison of Bluff Creek sites with neighboring and distant groups. A reanalysis of ceramic sherds previously reported for 14HP5 indicates that the ceramic assemblage from Bluff Creek sites is more homogeneous than was thought. Analysis of artifacts obtained in the 2004-2005 excavations at the Armstrong Site indicate that horticulture and bison hunting were of immense importance. The faunal assemblage indicates an early emphasis on bison hunting. In addition to recent excavations, local collectors have graciously allowed their collections to be documented and have offered information about site locations and the local environment. All of this new data allows a preliminary definition of the Bluff Creek phase and its differentiation from contemporaneous groups in the southern and central Plains.
Thesis (M.A)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Anthropology