Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name


Department (Legacy)

Department of Interdisciplinary Studies

Committee Chair

Neff, Stuart L.


Indians of North America--Kentucky--Bullitt County--Antiquities; Excavations (Archaeology)--Kentucky--Ashworth Rockshelter site; Ashworth Rockshelter site (Ky.)


Reinvestigation of a National Register property, the Ashworth Rockshelter (15BU236), northeast of Shepardsville, Bullitt Co., Kentucky, revealed stratified Early Archaic through Mississippian components (ca. 7900 B.C.-1500 A.D.). Primary occupation occurred under the shelter and eight meters (horizontally) of talus were located. The depth of the deposit is two meters, the lowest third representing the Early Archaic period. Forty-five culturally-diagnostic projectile points delineated the strata. Seven well-preserved burials indicate early mortality, severe physical conditions, and a preference to bury under the shelter. Well-preserved mollusks and vertebrate remains indicate a subsistence shift from aquatic to forest-edge communities from Early to Late Archaic periods. Federal legislation relevant to the significance statement must be observed if sites such as Ashworth are to be fully assessed and their priority determined in an archaeological planning design for the region.