The Baucom Hardaway Site (Peck and Painter)

The site is geographically situated in the southeastern edge of the Piedmont Plateau and a few miles above the Fall Line Zone. The Fall Line Zone is the easternmost limit of the Piedmont Province, the point where the last downstream falls and rapids occur as the rivers leave the Piedmont and enter the much lower Coastal Plain. The Fall Line Zone extends from southern New York State to eastern Alabama in a northeastern/southwesterly direction and paralleling the present seacoast on the average of 100 miles inland. Along this line and a few miles above and below it, are grouped most of the richest, most productive Paleo-Indian and Early Archaic sites in the Eastern and Southeastern states. These sites are normally at or within sight of shallows and rapids in the major rivers.

This apparent concentrated zone of Early Man’s cultural remains can be easily explained by studying the movements and migrations of the remaining great herd animals of the world. Both Early Man and the herd animals inhabiting the Coastal Plain and the Ice Age-exposed Continental Shelf found it difficult and highly dangerous to cross the wide, deep, and sometimes fast flowing rivers of the exposed Shelf and Coastal Plain. They found it much easier to follow the rivers inland to the Fall Line and simply wade across the shallows and rapids during low water stages. These river crossing were very necessary to the great herd animals such as mammoth, mastodon, bison, caribou and musk oxen in their annual north-south migration treks. Early Man, being as nomadic as the great beasts he preyed upon, found it very easy to ambush and slay these animals as they crossed the river fords, and the well-beaten trails of the herd animals led the hunters to the crossings. Every Spring and Fall seasons found great herds of migratory animals concentrated along the Fall Line and among their natural predators was Early Man (Painter, 1982A).

It is certainly not an accident that such well-known Paleo-Indian sites as Dutchess Quarry Cave, Plenge, Shoop, Thunderbird, Williamson and Hardaway occur at or very near these shallow river fords (Painter, 1982A).

The Baucom Hardaway Site is located approximately 21 miles southwest of the famous Hardaway Site (Map 1) excavated and reported by Joffre L. Coe of The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1964 (Coe, 1964). Perhaps the day will come when the Baucom Hardaway Site will become equally well-known.


The endangered portion of the site was chosen for excavation by the group who had volunteered their services to salvage the site before it was destroyed by earth removal. Since this portion was excavated, the owner has removed 2 to 3 vertical feet of earth, but only from the previously excavated area.

An area 20 feet north-south by 4O feet east-west was gridded off in five foot squares and each worker was assigned a square to excavate and record. The project lasted through portions of four years of excavating on weekends and spare time. The majority of the work was accomplished by Heath Baucom and his son Kenneth Baucom, and their dedication in saving the site is to be commended.

Since the site is deeply stratified a great amount of work was expended by

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