by, Beverley H Moseley, Jr. and John J White, III
Originally published in The Midwestern Epigraphic Society Journal
It is possible to argue that Robert Martin Gosling (1904-1964) was the greatest field archaeologist and naturalist in Ohio History. This self-educated genius from an enlightened Lancaster, Ohio family (father and four brothers) was a career field researcher who persevered through all manner of depression-related economic obstacles to compile a record of accomplishments hailed by prominent national scientists. Goslin’s career story will be told more fully in a future issue of the Midwestern Epigraphic Journal (Vol 14).
Typical of the life of this obscure Assistant Curator of the Ohio Historical Society is the fact that he married a woman from LaFollette, TN. This result is testimony to the fact that Goslin was a principal excavator for the famous physicist/anthropologist Dr Charles S Webb of the University of Kentucky, who supervised many of the salvage archaeological digs funded to offset the eventual permanent flooding effects of the massive TVA dam and flood control projects.
In the course of our research on the accomplishments of Robert Goslin, we rediscovered the famous photograph from 1927 shown below. The Goslin brothers were active Boy Scouts and explorers in the Lancaster area. Based principally on experience and archaeological curiosity, they elected to dig in the area of a cave shelter at a place 1.5 miles south of Lancaster called Kettle Hill Cave. Their findings made them famous.