23VA4 - corn cob tip 21.24 mm wide / 10 row


23VE4 during excavation. Photograph from McMillan (2019:Figure 23).


Blake (1984:158-9) reported that no twelve or fourteen rowed cobs were recovered during recent dig (1980s) though they made up 7 percent of cobs excavated in the 1960s. Five measurable parts of beans were recovered by flotation from features 13, 14, and 35. One half bean from feature 13 is exceptionally small, 5.9 x 3.6 mm. The other bean fragments, with one exception, are within the lower size range of beans from the Ute site (23SA2).
A total of 21 seeds of cultivated squash (Cucurbia pepo) were recovered. All are from Feature 13. They range in length from 10.0 mm to 17.8 mm and in width from 5.5 to 8.7 mm. Median length is 12.7 mm and width 7.5 mm. These may represent immature seeds of small pumpkins or mature seeds of varieties of squash eaten before full ripe. One seed had a green stain such as results from contact with copper or brass. 
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) seeds or fragments of seeds were recovered from several parts of Feature 13. In length they range from 9.9 mm to over 10.3 mm and width from 5.7 to 6.8 mm. All are carbonized.
There was also a fragile carbonized seed from Feature 13 which is muskmelon (Cucum mele).

Pearsall (1984:155-6) reported Nuts from 23SA1, 23VE4, and 23VE3: Corylus americana, juglans nigra, J. Cinera, Carya thick shell, Carya thin shelled, C. Laciviosa, C. Ovata, C. Tomentosa, and C. Illinoiensis.  Seeds: Asimina triloba, prunus, Prunus persica, P. Americana, P. Virginiana, Crataegus, Diospyros virginiana, Celtis occidentalis, Nelumba lutea, Amaranthus, Vitaceae, Vitis vulgaris, Zea mays, phaseolus vulgaris, Cucurbita sp., Cucurbita pepo, and Citrullus vulgaris.

Many thanks to R. Bruce McMillan (Research Association in Anthropology at University of Missouri  - Columbia) and Jessica Boldt (Museum of Anthropology, University of Missouri - Columbia). 

23VA4 - corn cob midsection - 54.69 mm length and 16.51 mm width = 8 row


Feature 14, a cache pit backfilled with trash (animal bones, grinding stone, chipped stone tools), at 23VE4; photograph published by McMillan (2019:Figure 24).


23VE4 was registered with the Archaeological Survey of Missouri by Carl Chapman in 1963. The site is designated as the "Petit" village of the Osage by Zebulon Pike (Coles 1890:590).  The records of Pike indicate that the village had a population in 1807 of 250 warriors, 241 women, and 333 children (almost evenly divided between boys and girls). The village consisted of 102 lodges and they were actively trapping/hunting pelts that included deer, bear, otter, beaver, and a few buffalo; this villager was in a trade partnership Pierre Chouteau. Pike visited the village on August 25th and was graciously received by the chief named Tuttasuggy (Osage, Wind).  Pike recorded hat the second chief of the Little Osage was named Watchkesingar (Soldier's Dog). The brother of Tuttasuggy was Neguma (Osage, Rain that walks) while the brother of Watchkesingar was Tetobasi (Osage, Without ears). Other important warriors among the Little Osage included Tarehem (Osage Yellow Skin Deer) and Maugraine (Osage, Big Rogue). 

Berry et al. (1944:7-8) refer to this as site "Z" in their report and note that village originally covered 30 acres, but that the majority of the site was destroyed by strip mining for coal. 

23VA4 corn cob - 49.38 mm length, 26.09 mm diameter. 10 row



Berry, Brewton, Carl H. Chapman, and John Mace

1944 Archaeological Remains of the Osage. American Antiquity 10(1):1-11

Blake, Leonard W.
1984 Preliminary Report on Cultivated Plant Remains from Recent Excavations by University of Missouri - Columbia on Osage and Missouri Indian Sites. In Osage and Missouri Indian Life Cultural Change: 1675 - 1825. Annual Performance Report on NEH research grant RO-20296 (manuscript in University of Missouri ASM/CRM library).

Brophy, Patrick

1962 They Literally dig out Story of Indian Life. Kansas City Times. Tuesday 21 August 1962, page 26. 

Coues, Elliott

1895 The Expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike, Volume 2. Francis P. Harper, 1895.

McMillan, R. Bruce

2019 The Development of Missouri Archaeology in the Era of Federal Damn Construction. Missouri Archaeologist 80.

Pearsall,  Deborah
1984 Second Annual Report on Ethnobotanical Analysis for the Osage-Missouri Cultural Change Project in Osage and Missouri Indian Life Cultural Change: 1675 - 1825. Annual Performance Report on NEH research grant RO-20296 (manuscript in University of Missouri ASM/CRM library).

Corn cob feature Feature 13, Level 6, C-61 -- 17.75 mm diameter, 10 row cob.


Corn cob feature 13, Level 6, C-61 -- 18.02 mm diameter, 10 row cob.


Dr. Carl H. Chapman at 23VE4 during 1963 field season. Photograph published by McMillan (2019:Figure 3). The 1944 report by Berry et al. notes that "trade goods far outnumbered the aboriginal materials. Large, crude flint scrapers were abundant."

Material culture found at the site (Berry et al 1944:9) notes that small, triangular flint projectile points were recovered as well as large notched or stemmed flint implements. Sandstone arrow shaft smoothers were recorded as well as sandstone abraders, hammer stones, pestles, and manos. Iron trade grade goods included axes, hoes, knives awls, files, and arrowheads. Copper trade goods included fragments of kettles, spangles, conical points, float projectile points, bells, and wire. Other trade goods included crucifixes or copper and/or silver, fragments of glass bottles, clay pipes, and crockery fragments. 


Photograph that was part of an article by Patrick Brophy published in the Kansas City Times in 1962. 

Corn cob from Feature 13, Level 6, C-61 -- 13.08 mm diameter; 8 row cob.


23VE4 - Little Osage Village Site

Michael Fuller

Outline of a lodge/long house at 23VE4 with cache pits both inside and outside of the structure. Photograph from McMillan (2019:Figure 25).