The West Virginia. Cyclopedia
East Steubenville Archaeological Site
In 1938, members of the West Virginia Archaeological Society discovered the East Steubenville site, perched on a high ridgetop, 300 feet above the Ohio River. Here, they found the remains of an ancient Native American encampment, marked by lance-shaped spearpoints and drills of flint, pointed awls of bone and antler, and stone adzes and fish net weights, scattered among a shell midden--discarded shells of freshwater mussel that the prehistoric visitors had harvested in the Ohio River and then eaten above on the ridgetop.
Excavations during 1999-2000 at the East Steubenville site, a 4000-year-old encampment of Native American hunter-gatherers in Brooke County, West Virginia, yielded thousands of artifacts and new insights on the poorly known Panhandle Archaic culture. Archaeologists discovered human skeletal remains in six prehistoric burials at the site, including a woman's remains that Radiocarbon dating showed died about 2310 B.C.
In 1999, WVDOT recognized that planned construction of the WV2 four-lane upgrade would remove the ridgespur where the East Steubenville site lay. Faced with destruction of this important Panhandle Archaic site, WVDOT archaeologists laid plans for a data recovery excavation. Through consultation, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) developed a formal agreement that balanced archeological scientific and Native American concerns by requiring osteological study of the skeletal remains followed by reburial. After completing osteological studies, a reburial ceremony was held on October 6, 2001 at the Highland Hills Memorial Gardens, just north of the East Steubenville site.