Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Eileen G. Ernenwein

Committee Members

Jay Franklin, A. Gwynn Henderson, Ingrid Luffman, David Pollack


Located on a ridgetop in central Kentucky, the Singer-Hieronymus Site Complex consists of at least four Native American villages. The Native Americans who lived there are called the “Fort Ancient” by archaeologists. This study examined relationships between these villages, both spatially and temporally, to build a more complete history of site occupation. To do this, aerial imagery analysis, geophysical survey, and archaeological investigations were conducted. This research determined there were differences among villages in terms of their size, however other characteristics—internal village organization, village shape, radiometric dates, and material culture—overlapped significantly. Additionally, landscape-scale geophysical survey identified at least three potentially new villages. It has been suggested that Fort Ancient groups abandoned villages every 10 to 30 years due to environmental degradation, but these results suggest that native peoples did not abandon villages at Singer-Hieronymus. Current thought surrounding Fort Ancient village abandonment and reoccupation must therefore be reconsidered.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.