West Virginia Archeological Society

Annual Meeting 2002

Saturday, November 2, 2002 A Progress Report on the State’s Archaeological Curation Program.
Dee DeRoche, Historic Preservation Section, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Moundsville, West Virginia

It has been a busy year at the West Virginia Archaeological Collections Facility in Moundsville. The consulting conservator’s report, which was received in March, included a general conservation assessment and storage plan, with prioritized recommendations for action. Learn how this advice is being implemented to improve the collections’ preservation and increase its accessibility. See the tiered storage system devised for the collection’s artifacts. Hear about the progress in rehousing objects and documents. Bring your comments and questions.

Can You “Dig” Archaeology? Spreading the Word through Public Programming.
Andrea Keller, Historic Preservation Section, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Charleston, West Virginia

Festivals, lectures, tours, and brochures are a few avenues available for communicating with the general public. Public programs can also serve as a platform for generating awareness of current research that may be of local interest, as well as promoting the preservation of archaeological resources. This talk will be based on experiences gained at Dickson Mounds Museum in Illinois, the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, and the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office.

Preliminary Notes On A Late Prehistoric Component at Marietta, Washington County, Ohio.
Wesley Clarke, Marietta College Summer Honors Institute, Marietta, Ohio.

Several episodes of controlled sampling at the Indian Acres site (33WN39) have documented a Late Prehistoric component on the eastward bank of the Muskingum River, 3.1 km above its juncture with the Ohio River. These investigations have encountered in situ domestic remains, including refuse basins and pits, post holes, and a burned floor. While detailed analysis of the recovered data has not yet been completed, some preliminary information is available, including ethnofloral identifications and three radiocarbon dates. The Indian Acres site resides in a poorly documented sub-region at a location that is key to providing insight on the relationships between several Late Prehistoric phases in the Muskingum, central Ohio and upper Ohio drainages.

Bioanthropological Investigations of the Burning Spring Branch Cemetery for the Marmet Lock Replacement Project in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Alexandra D. Bybee, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Lexington, Kentucky.

In March of 2002, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc. conducted archaeological investigations of an accidentally discovered historic cemetery at the Burning Spring Branch site (46Ka142) in Kanawha County, West Virginia. The Burning Spring Branch Cemetery consisted of nine burials yielding cultural and mortuary materials dating from the late 18th century through first quarter of the 19th century. Most coffins were hexagonal in shape and all were constructed using only utilitarian hardware. The use of burial shrouds was evidenced in three interments, while use of everyday clothing was identified in only one burial. Human remains, including an articulated skull, fetal bone, dental elements, and human hair, were recovered from eight interments and provided a variety of demographic information. The Burning Spring Branch Cemetery was a small, rural cemetery likely containing interments associated with John Morris, a Euro-American pioneer who purchased the tract in 1795 and reserved cemetery rights upon its sale in 1818. The spatial organization was characteristic of an upland south folk cemetery, and burials were aligned in rows or clusters suggestive of a single, possibly extended, family. The lack of ostentation in the cemetery epitomizes the early American view of death.

Agricultural Intensification and Nucleation in the Lower New River Region: A Concept Paper.
David N. Fuerst, National Park Service, Glen Jean, West Virginia.

This paper briefly examines how agricultural intensification happens, and how it promoted the nucleation of maize-based farming communities in the lower New River between AD 800 and 1650. Agricultural intensification is one of four interrelated factors that appears to have had a major observable effect on the settlement structure of these communities, the other three being warfare, population growth, and climatic change. The working hypothesis of this cultural ecological and processual model is that the intensification of a maize-based agriculture encouraged community populations to organize themselves into larger, more formally arranged villages over time. One of the questions this paper considers is why these communities did not develop the complex settlement hierarchy so evident in Mississippian societies. Studying how agricultural intensification affected the maize-based farming communities in the Lower New River region will hopefully help to explain the nucleation that occurred there and in other parts of the Central Appalachians.

A Preliminary Analysis of Data from the Orchard Site (46Ms61) to Locate the Site in the Cultural Temporal Sequence of Upper Ohio Valley Fort Ancient.
Darla Spencer, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Hurricane, West Virginia.

The Orchard site (46Ms61) is a Late Prehistoric/Protohistoric village site on the Ohio River in Mason County, West Virginia. No formal excavations were conducted at the site, although avocational archaeologists dug there from 1941 until the 1960s. During that time, over 300 burials were uncovered with many associated artifacts. The Orchard assemblage is very similar to that from Neale’s Landing and the Madisonville site in Ohio. The pottery styles also indicate interaction with the Riker site in Ohio. This paper is an attempt to sort through field notes and artifacts from the site and evaluate its placement in the Fort Ancient sequence.

Fort Edwards (West Virginia) Archaeology: New Evidence on the Structure of a French and Indian War Fort.
W. Stephen McBride, McBride Preservation Services/Wilbur Smith Associates, Lexington, Kentucky.

Following Braddock’s defeat in July 1755, the Virginia Regiment under Col. George Washington began the construction of forts along Virginia’s western frontier to defend settlers against anticipated French and Indian attacks. In 1756 this defensive line was greatly expanded and stretched from the Potomac to the North Carolina border. Among the forts in this chain was Fort Edwards, in present Hampshire County, West Virginia. This site is being preserved and interpreted by the Fort Edwards Foundation, which funded archaeological investigations in 2001. These investigations were directed toward assessing the nature of archaeological deposits across the site and to locate evidence of the French and Indian War fort and its occupation. Shovel probing, test unit excavation and backhoe trenching successfully located three sections of the fort’s stockade trench, including one bastion, numerous eighteenth century features, and stratified eighteenth to nineteenth century middens.

The Roadside Park Site (46MR114).
Barbara J. Gundy, Skelly and Loy, Inc., Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

The Roadside Park Site (46MR114) was identified during archaeological investigations for the West Virginia State Route 2 Franklin to Woodlands Improvements project in Marshall County. The site is located in the northern panhandle of West Virginia on colluvial footslope above the eastern floodplain of the Ohio River. The site yielded over 12,000 prehistoric period artifacts including flaked stone, groundstone, and ceramic sherds. No cultural features, materials suitable for radiometric dating, or other archaeological materials were recovered from the site. The recovered diagnostic projectile points and ceramics are indicative of the sporadic use or occupation of the site during the Late Archaic and Early and Middle Woodland periods.

Middle Woodland, Early Middle Archaic and Early Early Archaic Components at the Confluence of the Little Kanawha and Ohio Rivers: A Preliminary Report on Phase III Investigations at the Godbey Field Site, Wood County, West Virginia.
William C. Johnson, Ryan W. Robinson, Edward Siemon, III and Jonathan Glenn, Cultural Resources Section, Michael Baker Jr., Inc., Coraopolis, Pennsylvania.

In 2002, the Cultural Resources Section of Michael Baker Jr., Inc., conducted Phase I, II, and III archaeological investigations at the Godbey Ballfields Mitigation Test Area in South Parkersburg, West Virginia, for the West Virginia Division of Highways as part of the proposed Appalachian Corridor D. Three components with associated diagnostics were documented in subplow zone deposits. In cultural Stratum II, ca. 0-40 cm below the base of the plow zone, 47 surface and pit hearths attributed to the Middle Woodland period were excavated. Fourteen of the hearths contained ca. 3,000 ceramic sherds and, often, copious quantities of Juglans nigra or J. cinerea nutshell. Two additional hearths contained two Fairchance Notched and one Chesser Notched projectile point/knives (pp/ks). The ceramics were exceedingly well-made and are limestone-tempered and final S twist cord-marked.

In upper cultural Stratum IV, approximately 0.9 m below the base of the plow zone, a ca. 75 cm thick early Middle Archaic period horizon was documented. This horizon was isolated within a 7 x 9 m area and included nine hearths. Five Stanly Stemmed and five Kirk Serrated pp/ks were recovered along with numerous flaked stone tools, a large quantity of debitage, thermally altered rock, and charcoal including an apparent black walnut shell. Approximately 67 m away, an early Early Archaic period horizon was identified in lower cultural Stratum IV, ca. 1.6 m below the base of the plow zone. This component consisted of a tight cluster of three surface hearths, a deposit of over 1,900 pieces of debitage, a Kirk Corner-Notched, small variety pp/k, and two knives.

Archaeological and Historical Investigations at the Flowing Springs Mill Jefferson County, West Virginia.
William D. Updike, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Hurricane, West

Cultural Resource Analysts recently conducted data recovery excavations at the Flowing Springs Mill site (46Jf340), located near Charles Town, Jefferson County, West Virginia. The project was completed at the request of Terradon Corporation, acting on behalf the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways, for the Flowing Spring Road Improvement Project. The investigation followed a multi-task Research Design using historic documents and records to obtain information for the mill’s history, and its significance to regional and national agricultural and industrial patterns; and archaeological excavation to define the plan and organization of the mill. The information derived from this research was used to address broader themes of site location, site form, technological change, and raw materials and finished goods, which are important to the study of industrial sites. A history of the mill was constructed placing it within a broader agricultural and industrial context. Archaeological investigations revealed the extents and construction of the mill building, the power sources, and evidence of mill automation.

Hocking Nature Center Site: A Prehistoric Multicomponent Site in the Hocking River Valley.
Joseph Wakeman, Hocking College, Nelsonville, Ohio.

Recent investigations at the Hocking College Nature Center site (33 AT 909) in southeast Ohio have yielded some interesting insights into the Woodland cultures in the Hocking River valley. This valley is arguably the least understood major watershed in the state of Ohio. The settlement patterns and material assemblages most commonly associated with the Woodland cultures in the Ohio Valley do not always apply to the Hocking as they do to adjacent watersheds such as the Scioto and Muskingum. This study will examine the variability of the Woodland sites in the Hocking valley as well as the spatial distribution of the sites in the watershed, with a special emphasis on the continuing investigations at 33 AT 909.

The Marmet Data Recovery Project, Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Robert F. Maslowski, Huntington District Corps of Engineers, Huntington, West Virginia.

The Marmet Lock Replacement Project, located on the Kanawha River, nine miles above Charleston, West Virginia, required data recovery at six archeological sites in an 18 acre tract at the mouth of Burning Springs. The cultural components at these sites included much of the prehistory and history of the Kanawha Valley from Late Paleo-Indian to A. D. 1900. The historic sites included a series of four salt furnaces, the house and graves of the saltmakers and a slave cabin. Prehistoric sites included sealed Early Archaic components, a sealed Late Archaic component with sandstone and steatite bowls, a series of Woodland hamlets and a stockaded Fort Ancient Village (circa AD 1500) with 25 houses.

Preliminary Observations for a Buried Late Archaic Component at the Burning Spring Branch Site (46Ka142), Marmet Lock Replacement Project, Kanawha County, West Virginia.
C. Michael Anslinger, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Hurricane, West Virginia.

Data recovery excavations completed by Cultural Resource Analysts at the multicomponent Burning Spring Branch site (46Ka142) in Kanawha County, West Virginia, included the investigation of an extensive late Late or Terminal Archaic component dating to approximately 3000 RCYBP. Associated with a buried soil A horizon, the occupation was characterized by a large number of pit and thermal features, and a high density of thermally altered rock. The association of small notched hafted bifaces and stone bowls suggests the occupation represents a hitherto undefined cultural expression in the Kanawha Valley.

Green Bottom’s Goodly Yield: A Preliminary Report on the 2002 Field Season.
William D. Updike, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Hurricane, West Virginia

Beginning in July 2002, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc. began remote sensing and archaeological investigations at the Jenkins Plantation Museum at Green Bottom, Cabell County, West Virginia. The Huntington District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sponsored the research. The Jenkins Plantation Museum is comprised of the ca. 1835 home of Confederate General Albert Gallatin Jenkins. A long-range plan for the museum is to reconstruct former outbuildings and activity areas. Current research at the site involved examining a large portion of the area surrounding the house through magnetometer and gradiometer surveys. Based on the results of these surveys and previous excavations, approximately 200 square meters of the area were excavated. Over the course of the summer the following buildings and activity areas were defined. A kitchen, a stone and mortar lined privy, a possible office building, and a garden area. The former locations of two sidewalks, and a possible root cellar feature were also examined. This presentation will illustrate these features, and some of the artifacts recovered during these investigations.