The Clover archeological site is located on a high terrace on the Ohio River in the Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area, 20 miles north of Huntington. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. It is also a National Historic Landmark, one of only 15 in West Virginia.
Clover was a large village dating to A.D. 1550 to 1600, the Protohistoric period on the verge of European contact. It is best known as being the original site for the Protohistoric Clover Phase described by James B. Griffin in his book, The Fort Ancient Aspect, in 1943. The site was extensively collected by John Adams and other amateur archeologists after 1920. Professional excavations were conducted by Nicholas Freidin and his Marshall University archeological field school from 1984 to 1988.
Excavations and surface collections at the site have yielded thousands of shell-tempered ceramics, stone tools, and bone tools and ornaments. Bone fish hooks and beads were recovered in all stages of manufacture. European brass and copper ornaments and glass trade beads help to date the village. Marine shell gorgets associated with the Southern Cult, pottery effigy bowls, and figurines suggest that the Clover Site and other Clover Phase villages had strong political and cultural ties with villages in what is now eastern Tennessee.
The John Adams collection of artifacts from Clover and other sites is curated at the Huntington Museum of Art.
Read the National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Clover Archeological Site.
This Article was written by Robert F. Maslowski
Last Revised on March 15, 2013
Griffin, James B. The Fort Ancient Aspect. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1943.
Maslowski, Robert F. Protohistoric Villages in Southern West Virginia. Upland Archeology in the East, Symposium 2. Harrisonburg, VA: James Madison University, 1984.
Adams, John J. A Fluted Point from Cabell County. West Virginia Archeologist, (1960).