The Great Inca Rebellion

Student Handout

The Two Communities

The two sites in this study are Indian Knoll, located in Western Kentucky, and Hardin Village in Eastern Kentucky. The natural environments of these two areas are very similar today and probably were alike in prehistoric times as well. Four hundred and forty-five skeletons were found at Hardin Village, 296 of which were suitable for study. At Indian Knoll, 1,234 skeletons were found in or underneath the mound; a random sample of 285 was chosen for study. The data in this activity show the percentages of the population in which various pathologies were found.

Turkey Indian Knoll
Indian Knoll is a large mound, set back from the present bank of the Green River. At the time of occupation an oxbow lake or cut-off meander of the Green River bordered the Knoll and provided ideal conditions for mussel beds.

The inhabitants of Indian Knoll relied entirely on hunting and gathering for their livelihood. Local white-tailed deer, raccoon, beaver, muskrat, otter, wild turkey, box turtle, and fish provided meat. Community members also ate small mammals and large quantities of mussels during times when they could be harvested. There is evidence that inhabitants collected walnuts, acorns, hickory nuts, and wild fruits. They probably ate roots, bulbs, and shoots, but no traces of these were preserved at the archeological site. Radiocarbon dates place the occupation of Indian Knoll sometime between 3300 b.c. and 2000 b.c.

Corn Hardin Village
The Hardin Village inhabitants were agriculturalists. Corn was likely their main source of food. They also raised some beans and gathered wild plants such as hickory nuts and black walnuts. Their mostly agricultural diet was supplemented with meat from white-tailed deer, elk, raccoon, fox, wild turkey, and fish. Although evidence of some small mammals was found, there were no indications that the Hardin Villagers ate shellfish. Carbon-14 dates indicate the site was occupied between a.d. 1500 and a.d. 1675.