FORT OUIATENON, 1717–2019: 300+ YEARS OF INDIANA HISTORY

Michael Strezewski, Robert G McCullough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Fort Ouiatenon was constructed in 1717 and represents the first formal French presence in the present state of Indiana. The fort, situated amongst various Wea, Kickapoo, and Mascouten villages, stood until about 1785. Curiosity regarding the possible fort site began in the early 20th century, though it was not until 1968 that the archaeological site of Fort Ouiatenon was confirmed. Archaeological work proceeded through 1979, focusing mostly on identifying features within the fort proper. Beginning in 2009, the authors began a program of research at the fort site, with the main goal of identifying Native American villages surrounding the fort and determining the presence and nature of any subsurface features that might be present. Magnetometry and resistivity survey have identified numerous areas where intact features appear to be present. Most notable is a cluster of circular anomalies northwest of the fort, likely representing the remains of a small Native American village. A portion of one of these circular anomalies was opened in 2013, confirming its identity as a structure. The structure was constructed by digging a shallow trench, into which pliable branches were placed. These were likely bent over, creating a wigwam-like dwelling, which was subsequently covered with bark.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-88
JournalINDIANA ARCHAEOLOGY
Volume14
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • ISAS

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