MURRAY, Ky. — “The Bloodroot Mound Site: A Prehistoric Community in Western Kentucky” exhibit is on display at Murray State University’s Wrather West Kentucky Museum until the end of the spring 2017 semester in May.
“The idea was to start collaborating and provide an experiential learning experience for students. We chose to focus on STEM-based departments because they are not traditionally the departments Wrather has collaborated with in the past,” said Sarah Hopley, special collections and exhibits librarian. “The department of geosciences is in a unique position to create an exhibit because they have many 3-D artifacts that are of interest to the general public, easy to display and focus on the region.”
This particular exhibit, “The Bloodroot Mound Site,” was featured by Kate Breitenstein and Megan Shoulberg, both recent graduates from Murray State’s department of geosciences.
Both Breitenstein and Shoulberg worked at the excavation site during two field seasons.
“The Bloodroot Mound site is a Mississippian (culture) site located in Calloway County,” said Breitenstein. “The Mississippians were indigenous peoples living in the eastern United States between 1000 and 1500 A.D.”
There are several significant mound sites in western Kentucky; however, Bloodroot Mound is significant because it is one of the few in which no agriculture was done on the site.
“This means that the top eighteen inches of soil weren’t plowed, so really critical pieces of information about the end of the site’s life (toward the top of the soil) weren’t destroyed or moved,” said Breitenstein.
On display at “The Bloodroot Mound Site” exhibit are several pottery fragments, stone tools, wall trenches and a few whole vessels. Breitenstein said that these items indicate that there was a building near the excavation site.
“The different stylistic techniques are important and significant because it helps to form a timeline of occupation while seeing styles changing over time,” said Shoulberg.