The main source for information about the Osage Indians' daily life is in the ground beneath us. Like pages of a book, archaeology can reveal stories about who the people were and how they lived.
Information is revealed not only by the artifacts but also by its relationship with other things. For example, finding a single projectile point gives archaeologists a certain amount of information. But its presence among projectile points and chert waste in a small area tells archaeologists that the site was a hunting camp. On the other hand, dense debris and evidence of houses indicate a village. Past soil disturbance can be detected and reveal where post holes, hearths, roasting pits, and storage pits had been dug in the past.
As archaeologists dig, they destroy the part of the site they are excavating. But archaeologists record as much information as possible as they dig and keep careful records of what they have found. Without these records, the stories of the past would be lost forever.
This site, known as the Brown site, was first visited by archaeologists in 1941. W.L. Brown, the landowner, had collected many artifacts from the site. Realizing the importance of the site, Brown had stopped plowing it. Dr. Carl H. Chapman and other staff members from the University of Missouri at Columbia started excavating the site in 1941. World War II interrupted those excavations.
In 1962, Chapman mounted a large-scale excavation of the known Osage sites in this part of the state. About 9,000 square feet were excavated. In the center of this site, some pits and post holes were found where a house apparently had been located. A large excavation near the western edge of the site revealed pits, hearths, and post holes indicating two houses. One house was 42 feet by 19 feet and the other was 45 feet by 22 feet. They had two or three center posts, multiple hearths, and numerous pits in the house floor for storage.
A small excavation was completed in 1983. These excavations were done to obtain evidence of bones and floral material for comparison with other historic Indian sites. This last excavation revealed a great deal of information about the plants and animals used by the Osage Indians in Missouri.
Help Us Preserve The Site
This village is a nonrenewable source. The artifacts on this site are like the pages of a book that tell a story. Removing an artifact is like tearing a page from that book, making it difficult to read. Removing artifacts is also against the law. This site was purchased for preservation. Please help us do that.