Icehouse Bottom, Tennessee, USA

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Archaic Stage settlement dating to about c.7500 bc on a river terrace in the Little Tennessee Valley. It was excavated by Jefferson Chapman in the early 1970s and interpreted as the base camp for hunter‐gatherer bands who exploited the surrounding territory. The situation of Icehouse Bottom was ideal for a base camp because of abundant supplies of animal and plant foods and the presence of fine chert for toolmaking.

Evidence suggested that several bands used the camp at once, each family group living in a small skin, bark, or matting hut. Twenty‐nine hearths were found as the only remaining evidence of these structures. White‐tailed deer, black bear, elk, fox, opossum, raccoon, squirrel, rabbit, turkey, and pigeon were hunted for food. The settlers also fished, and gathered hickory nuts and acorns.


J. Chapman, 1973, The Icehouse Bottom site 40MR23. Knoxville: Department of Anthropology, University of Tennessee

Subjects: Archaeology.

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