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The Wolf Site (20MB1) - the only known type site of the Wolf phase of Native American occupation in Michigan (circa 1250 to 1450 AD)

A well documented Native American archaeological site known as the "Wolf Site" (20MB1) is located on the Lakeview Estates parcel, and likely extends into the adjacent parcels. The Wolf Site is thought by some to be the only archaeological evidence in Michigan of a very particular culture that moved into the area from southern regions, possibly in response to a period of absence of other tribes in this part of Michigan. The artifacts they left are very distinctive. According to records provided by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office in 2000, the Wolf Site consisted of a village and cemetery within the Salt Creek Reservation; land ceded by the Chippewa in the treaty of 1836 and set aside in 1897. This description is from the Michigan Archaeological Site File: "Large village with burials, damaged by sand pits and relic hunting. This is the type site for the Wolf phase (ca. AD 1250-1450). Several large portions of Parker Festooned vessels were found here. Greenman (1939) excavated four burials; local residents report others have been found. Greenmanís trenches uncovered 25 refuse pits. The pits contained ash, animal bones, sherds and fire-cracked rock. At least one pit was lined with bark and contained corn. Faunal remains included deer, rabbit, muskrat, shrew, woodchuck, dog, fish, and bird. The assemblage included celts, knives, triangular projectile points, notched projectile points, sandstone abrading stones, hammerstones, fire-cracked rock, ceramics and possible daub. According to Fitting (1965), 42% of the ceramics are Parker Festooned, with Macomb Linear, Springwells Net, Vase Corded and Vase Tool Impressed also represented. In 1958, Arnold Pilling and students from Wayne State University revisited the site, interviewed land owners and collected from the surface (Pilling and Teeter, 1982). The site is endangered by encroaching housing development, sand mining and relic collecting. Intact portions may be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places." ...................................................................................................................................... In 2001 Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group, Inc. conducted a literature review and cursory site survey consisting of 5 parallel transects, totaling roughly 1,600 feet in length, with shovel testing of surface soils at 33-foot intervals, totaling approximately 48 to 50 shovel test spots. They concluded, based on the lack of pre-1950 artifacts found, and the apparent extent of previous sand mining and filling activities, that the site is likely no longer intact and, therefore, the development "... will not adversely affect area cultural resources". The last page concludes that the Wolf Site was probably destroyed by sand mining that continued as late as 1971. However, the Commonwealth investigation did not extend beyond the near ground surface. Most of the original artifacts discovered, and certainly the burials, were found roughly 3 feet below the ground. Also, the focus of the report is on the Wolf Site itself, as described by Emerson F. Greenman (University of Michigan) in July 1936, with little or no consideration for the potential of surrounding areas to yield artifacts. However, Rick Zurel, a noted archaeologist in southeast Michigan, inspected the Lakeview Estates site and surrounding area back in 2000 with the late Robert Schneider, one of the original excavators of the Wolf Site. At that time, Mr. Schneider indicated his belief that additional artifacts very likely remain on and around the Wolf Site, pointing to land on Lakeview Estates, and also the adjoining English Homes and Secluded Woods parcels. For photographs of the original 1931 excavation of the Wolf Site on the Lakeview Estates parcel and of actual artifacts discovered, view Rick Zurelís web site at: http://hometown.aol.com/zurelrl/page13.html

Wolf Site links below:

Zurel's Southeast Michigan Archaeology Page
Wolf Site Maps