Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
Artist reconstruction of a Fort Ancient village.


Site ID: 15Pi11

Kentucky Archaeological Survey
Unless specified, we cannot provide site location information.


​​​​​​​​The Slone site is a late Middle Fort Ancient (1350 to 1400 AD) village. It sat on the north bank of the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River.  Prior to the creation of Fishtrap Reservoir, the University of Kentucky excavated approximately 80 percent of the site from 1963 to 1964.  

Investigators determined that at least 12 houses were arranged around a central plaza in this circular village.  Native farmers occupied Slone for 30 to 45 years, as indicated by repeated house and palisade rebuilding. ​​

Concentric activity zones at the Slone site.


Native residents of the Slone site village organized their commuity in concentric activity zones around a central plaza.  A storage/cooking zone bordered the plaza.  It contained hearths, earth ovens, and storage pits.  The lack of trash in this zone indicated that residents regularly swept it to keep their work place clean.  

Bordering the storage/cooking zone was the residential zone, where the houses stood.  On average, houses measured 19 by 28 feet and each had a central hearth.  Residents disposed of their trash - ceramic jar fragments, broken arrowheads, and animal bone - behind their houses. These materials accumulated in large piles. Family and kin-related cemeteries also were located behind the houses.  

A wooden palisade encircled the village. Judging by the circumference of the earliest palisade, the village initially measured just over 200 feet in diameter.  Sometime during the life of the village, residents dismantled the initial palisade and built several houses where it had once stood.  A second palisade was then built to include the new houses.  This village measured 240 feet in diameter.  A third palisade,​ measuring 255 feet in diameter, was built toward the end of the village’s occupation.  

Residents may have encircled their community with a palisade to protect the village from attack. The palisade also could have served as a clear boundary that distinguished community residents from outsiders.

Pottery jars with handles from Slone. Residents used jars for storage and cooking.

What's Cool?


Investigators recovered over 150 circular stone discoidals from the Slone site.  Nearly all were made from sandstone, but a few were made from cannel coal (a type of bituminous coal found in eastern Kentucky), hematite (or red ochre), or limestone. ​

The discoidals from Slone tended to be plain and well-smoothed on both faces.  A few were decorated - primarily with incised lines - and some were polished.  

Residents may have used discoidals in games, like chunkey. This game involved rolling a disk-shaped stone on a flat field. Players shot or tossed a spear or arrow, and whoever's stopped nearest the stone when it stopped rolling received a point.

Decorated cannel coal discoidal.

Related Materials

Keep the Search Alive!