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Kentucky Heritage Council
Public invited to participate in archaeological tour of Ashland - The Henry Clay Estate and Mount Horeb Earthwork on Friday, March 15, part of the 30th Annual KHC Archaeology Conference

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, February 26, 2013  
Contact Information:  Diane Comer
(502) 564-7005 Ext. 120

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Ever wanted to hang out with an archaeologist or learn more about what it is they really do? Now you can by taking a guided tour of historic features and artifacts uncovered at Ashland – The Henry Clay Estate in Lexington, followed by a visit to a prehistoric earthwork site known as Mount Horeb, located just off Iron Works Pike in rural Fayette County. The bus excursion will take place Friday, March 15, as part of the 30th Annual Kentucky Heritage Council Archaeology Conference.

Dr. Kim McBride will conduct the tour of Ashland, discussing excavations and discoveries on the grounds of the home over the last several years. Her tour will include the former slave quarters and privy sites that were filled with artifacts dating to the time that Henry Clay lived there. Known as “The Great Compromiser,” Clay (1777-1852) was a noted lawyer, politician and statesman who served three terms as our nation’s speaker of the House and also served as secretary of state under President John Quincy Adams.

McBride is a historic archaeologist and co-director of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey (KAS), a partnership between the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office and Department of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky.

Mount Horeb is one of a complex of sites in rural Fayette County associated with the Adena, a once-thriving Native American culture who lived in the Ohio River Valley from about 500 B.C. to 300 A.D., a time known as the Early to Middle Woodland period. The Mount Horeb Complex consists of several ceremonial and special activity sites constructed about 2,000 years ago, the remnants of which can be seen on the landscape today. The Mount Horeb enclosure was extensively excavated by University of Kentucky archaeologist Dr. William Webb beginning in 1939 as part of the Works Progress Administration.

A discussion of Webb’s findings and a tour of the site will be led by Eric Schlarb, a staff archaeologist with KAS.  He has published extensively on Adena ritual sites and is co-author of “Adena: Woodland Period Moundbuilders of the Bluegrass,” available for purchase from the Kentucky Heritage Council.

The tour will depart at 10 a.m. from the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 1375 South Broadway, Lexington. Tickets are $10 per person. The tour includes a stop for lunch at Windy Corner Market, where participants may order a box lunch in advance ranging from $9 to $11. The tour will conclude at the Crowne Plaza at 2:30 p.m. Register online and purchase tour and lunch tickets at, or for more information email

For more information about archaeology in Kentucky, see:

Ashland – The Henry Clay Estate:

Mount Horeb:

Did you know?

Archaeological myths and misperceptions:

Facts about Kentucky’s pre-history and prehistoric cultures:

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An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office is responsible for the identification, protection and preservation of prehistoric resources and historic buildings, sites and cultural resources throughout the Commonwealth, in partnership with other state and federal agencies, local communities and interested citizens. This mission is integral to making communities more livable and has a far-ranging impact on issues as diverse as economic development, jobs creation, affordable housing, tourism, community revitalization, environmental conservation and quality of life.  


Related Content

Archaeological excavation of Ashland privy

Historic photo of Mount Horeb excavation

At top, old privy excavation at Ashland with artifacts “in-situ” or in place; photo courtesy of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, 2003. Above, trench excavations at Mount Horeb; photo courtesy of the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology.


Last Updated 2/26/2013