Madison Living - Kentucky Winter 2018 - Page 6

Rock walls in the popular hiking site, The Pinnacles, may have provided shelter. From page 5 turn in found historical objects called “Don’t Pocket the Past.” “Having as much information as we can helps us understand the bigger story of how previous people lived here,” Anderson shared. She requests that visitors to the Pinnacles/Indian Fort hiking area turn in any artifacts and information about their discovery to the Forestry Outreach Center. An even more disheartening offense is looting of sites. Once someone has destroyed the archaeological record of a site by disturbing the layers and removing objects, it can never be replaced. In the case of the artifacts on display from the looted site, what remained indicates what type of activity took place there — the progressively finer blades and shards indicate they used the spot for knapping. But one example of what is lost is a density map 6 Madison Living WINTER 2018 indicating the concentration of pieces, from which archeologists can conclude even where the people were sitting while crafting the stone. “Looting is like breaking into someone’s house and stealing things,” Anderson shared. She regularly monitors historical and archaeological sites owned by Berea College to check for damage. A more accurate history Historical markers throughout the region still share the pervasive myth that native peoples passed through the Bluegrass and used it as hunting grounds, but did not really inhabit it. Anderson explains the current understanding: that Native Americans lived a seasonally nomadic lifestyle, with some of their temporary settlements in Madison County, some frequented for many years. To explain this misunderstanding, Anderson says, “It was hard for early colonists to recognize signs of a native presence because they were not living the way Europeans were used to.” Anderson has a deep appreciation for the people who lived here before, for the skills and technology they embodied, and takes issue with people who say they were primitive. She said, “Until you try to knap flint yourself, you don’t understand the amount of knowledge necessary to make a sharp point. Some of these points are sharper than a knife, sharper even than a scalpel.” “Indian Fort” One place archaeologists have studied is Madison County’s Indian Fort, which is now believed to be a misnomer. Located at the Pinnacles, it is a popular hiking destination with amazing views of the entire bluegrass region, the hills to the north, and the birds soaring at eye