By: Michael G. Angst
Prepared for Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Reports of Investigation 46, Archaeological Resource Management Service, Ball State University
An archaeological survey of Rush County, Indiana was conducted under a Department of the Interior History Preservation Fund Survey and Planning Grant administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. The purpose of this project was to update and add to the available archaeological data for Rush County.
Prior to this survey, approximately 227 sites were on record for Rush County. Most of these sites were reported by collectors. During this project, 960 acres were covered by pedestrian survey, investigating the till plain, moraine, lake/bog/marsh and valley (terrace and floodplain) environmental zones. The field survey discovered 225 new sites, bringing the total sites on record in Rush County to 565. The site density was lower than expected, but the artifact density per site and per acre was considerably higher. This was thought to reflect the abundance of Laurel chert in the region.
Auguring in alluvial and colluvial fans identified deeply buried deposits along the Big Blue and Flatrock Rivers. The surface geology of Rush County has been heavily influenced by Wisconsin glaciation. This glaciation produced surface topography suitable for the creation of alluvial and colluvial fans with the potential for archaeological deposits to be deeply buried in the fans. Although preliminary, this theory could be tested throughout the till plain region of Indiana.