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New Website Documents 10,000+ Years of Kentucky History
Kentucky Ag Connection - 09/20/2022

A new website highlighting more than 100 prehistoric and historic archaeological sites across 64 counties has been launched by the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC) in partnership with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).

Discover Kentucky Archaeology documents the diversity and richness of Kentucky's archaeological record and the scientific documentation and research undertaken by more than 100 archaeologists who have and continue to contribute to our shared understanding of the past. The launch coincides with events and activities throughout September, celebrated as Kentucky Archaeology Month.

Prehistoric time periods begin with Paleoindian-era sites (prior to 8,000 BC) and range from Grizzly Newt, an Early Archaic (8000 to 6000 BC) Native American rockshelter located within the Daniel Boone National Forest, to McGilligan Creek, a Late Woodland (500 to 1000 AD) village in Livingston County.

Historic time period examples include Saltpeter Cave, a Frontier era (1750 to 820 AD) niter mine in Carter County, through sites like Peanickle, a Postbellum and Industrialization (1865 to 1914) African American community on a ridgetop just outside Lawrenceburg.

Each site profile includes a summary, findings, a focus on "what's cool" and links to related materials. Other sections include opportunities for public education, outreach and discovery. Content was created by the Kentucky Archaeological Survey and the website was designed by Kentucky Interactive LLC. New sites will be added as research and funding allows.

The project was funded through an alternative mitigation agreement for bridges projects, financed by the federal government, which impacted significant archaeological sites listed in or deemed eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Through this consultation process, outlined by federal statute and supported by the Federal Highway Administration, consulting parties agreed to create a publicly available guide to Kentucky archaeological sites.

"While we are dedicated to preserving significant archaeological resources, sometimes damage from construction projects to cultural resources can't be avoided," said Craig Potts, KHC executive director and state historic preservation officer. "In this instance we worked with partner agencies and consulting parties to develop a way to offset these damages by investing in public outreach to increase understanding of the importance of these sites and what they have yet to tell us about Kentucky's heritage."

"As we build a better Kentucky that meets the needs of the future, the Transportation Cabinet is committed to protecting and preserving Kentucky's past," said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. "This initiative makes historical information accessible and enjoyable to discover across multiple periods and parts of the state."

Explore the site at archaeology.ky.gov.


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