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Archaeotrek—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, July 2015

Kentucky’s Lost City

by: Dr. Greg Little

In The Illustrated Enyclopedia of Native American Mounds & Earthworks I briefly summarized the “Lost City” using the correct archaeological name for the site: the Page Site. It is a huge Mississippian era village site with platform mounds, burial mounds, and earthworks located on private land. We made a brief visit to the site a few months ago in preparation for a new version on the Encyclopedia. I anticipate that the book will double in size and list over 5,000 sites.

The Page Site had 67 mounds but today less than 30 are visible. It was called the “Lost City” until the 1960’s when a private museum on one of the platform mounds was closed and torn down. It is believed that Rafinesque visited the site in the early 1800s while it was still inhabited by some Native American tribal members—thus the term “Lost City.” I do not recommend trying to visit the site, Kentucky farmers are not known for allowing free and friendly access to their land and the site has been extensively excavated and looted. In 1928-29 Webb and Funkhouser of the University of Kentucky surveyed the site and excavated about half the mounds. They found stone graves, many large, well-formed stone lined burial chambers in the mounds, and many skulls and skeletal remains along with countless cremated remains. According to a later excavator, Raymond Vietzen, the 1929 excavation took out wagonloads of bones. In the 1940’s Vietzen excavated several of the remaining mounds finding more stone burial chambers and skeletal remains. It is an intriguing site little-known to the public.

Saturday, December 03, 2022