The transition to sedentary village life and maize agriculture was an important turning point in the prehistory of the American midcontinent. This article presents the results of excavations at the Turpin site, one of the earliest agricultural villages in the Middle Ohio Valley, located just east of Cincinnati, Ohio. Although earlier researchers suggested that Turpin was occupied later during the Fort Ancient period, our work confidently anchors the site to the inception of the Fort Ancient archaeological culture. Excavations reported here produced evidence of two Mississippian-style walltrench structures, each of which dates between AD 1050 and AD 1275, demonstrating the early and nonlocal nature of occupation at the site. Material culture further supports the interpretation that the Turpin site reflects a community that included nonlocal peoples and traditions. Our findings provide archaeological support for recent biological studies suggesting that the inception of Fort Ancient culture along the Middle Ohio River was linked, at least in part, to an influx of people from neighboring Mississippian regions.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.