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#1 Jan-02-2010 05:14:pm

NanticokePiney
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From: Hopewell Twp., New Jersey
Registered: Jul-10-2007
Posts: 4214

Archaeologists Finishing Up at Indian Village

http://www.greenevillesun.com/story/307405

Last edited by NanticokePiney (Jan-02-2010 05:16:pm)


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#2 Jan-02-2010 10:01:pm

bls926
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From: Texas
Registered: Oct-21-2006
Posts: 12082

Re: Archaeologists Finishing Up at Indian Village

January 02, 2010
     

Archaeologists Nearing The End Of Dig At Former Indian Village


http://www.greenevillesun.com/attachments/2010/01/w-allens-road-indian-Dig.jpg
Sun File Photo by Tom Yancey
This is a November file photo of the archaeological dig along West Allens Bridge Road where the state will build a new bridge using state funds. The shed at right covers a system in which river water has been used to wash excavated dirt to look for artifacts. A team of 15 archaeologists from the University of Tennessee has been conducting the dig.

Source: The Greeneville Sun
Will Public Have Chance To See The Artifacts? Not Planned, But It Might Be Possible

BY TOM YANCEY
STAFF WRITER

Archaeologists digging at a Woodland Indian village site along the Nolichucky River where a new bridge is planned for Allens Bridge Road are expected to finish work in a few weeks.

The artifacts that have been found will then be studied, catalogued, documented, and eventually stored in archival boxes under the supervision of the State of Tennessee Archaeologist.

There are no current plans for them to be placed on public exhibit, although that possibility exists, according to Tennessee State Archaeologist Mike Moore.

The dig is known as the "Birdwell Site," because it is located on land purchased from Jay and Ann Birdwell for relocation of the two-lane bridge built in 1976.

Jay Birdwell, whose Still Hollow Farm and agritourism venue borders the river, said Tuesday in a telephone interview that the crew from the University of Tennessee Archaeological Research Laboratory stopped work before Christmas and do not plan to return until Jan 4.

Birdwell said he was told that many of the diggers are also UT students who are on Christmas break. He said Matthew Gage, senior archaeologist with the UT lab, told him that when work resumes Monday, most likely a smaller team will return.

The UT diggers are working under contract to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), performing work required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1966.

'A COUPLE OF WEEKS LEFT'

Alan Longmire, a TDOT archaeologist based in Johnson City, said Tuesday in a telephone interview that the UT diggers "have only got a couple of weeks left" to complete the field work, and usually take off the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

Gage and Longmire have said in the past that the next phase of the project will take place in the archaeological lab in Knoxville.

There, a separate team will study, catalog, and document what has been found at the Birdwell site, and begin working on a report to TDOT.

The final report, which is required by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, is not due until September 2010, Longmire said.

If the report satisfies TDOT, Longmire said, that agency will tell the state Historic Preservation office that the project is finished, and provide maps and pictures to supplement the UT report.

"We tell them we're done," the TDOT archaeologist said.

If the historic preservation office agrees, Longmire said, "After that, nothing stands in the way of construction."

Bid-letting for construction of the bridge is now "tentatively" set for June 11, 2010.

WHAT ABOUT THE ARTIFACTS?

Asked what will happen to the artifacts, Longmire said, "UT's going to hang onto them for quite a while."

The artifacts "are generally the property of the state," he said.

"There really hasn't been anything spectacular found," he said.

"I know that annoys people, when they see us working" for months.

As archaelogists, Longmire said, "We get excited about small fragments of pottery" that don't look very impressive to the untrained eye.

What has been found has supported the original idea that the Birdwell site was a large village, rather than a camp, and that it was used for extended periods of years, and then abandoned, only to be used again, over a period of several centuries.

SEVERAL BURIAL SITES

Several burial sites have been found, examined, and then covered back up. A few remains had to be moved, and an agreement in that regard that was worked out with five Native American tribes: the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, the Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.

The overall site has also yielded numerous arrow points, spear points, and burn pits, trash pits and evidence of toolmaking that indicated long-term use.

Longmire said he does not know what the final plans are for any artifacts uncovered by the dig.

"If someone wanted to provide room to put them on display, that would be an arrangement that would have to be worked out with the state archaeologist," Longmire said.

CHANCE FOR PUBLIC VIEWING?

Tennessee State Archaeologist Mike Moore, provided the following statement:

"Artifacts recovered from the field go to the laboratory for cleaning, processing and analysis.

"Upon completion of the analysis and submission of the project report, the artifacts are put in archival boxes and stored in a state-approved facility for long-term curation."

Moore went on to say, "The artifacts are not accessible for public viewing, but are made available for future analysis by qualified researchers.

"On occasion, selected artifacts are made available (through short- or long-term loans with the state) for display as part of a local museum or historical society exhibit."

'GOOD-SIZED VILLAGE'

Gage said earlier this year that the majority of the finds in the "multi-component" site are from the "Middle Woodland" period, 2,000 to 3,000 years ago.

Evidence has been found, Gage said, "of a lot of storage to maintain this site probably for a long duration during the year," instead of just as a temporary stopover.

He said it seems likely that the site was "not only a camp but a good-sized village occupying a lot of the bottom land" along the river.

Funding issues have repeatedly delayed the bridge, and also hampered further archaeological studies, Longmire said.

A study in 2004 found enough evidence to trigger the current study, he said.

The federally recognized tribes TDOT is consulting with and who have a legal right to be involved are the five tribes mentioned above.

EVIDENCE OF BIG FLOOD?

Earlier core samples that went down 20 feet were analyzed to find how deep it was safe to dig with heavy equipment.

Core samples produced at least an indication of the geological history of the Nolichucky River valley going back 20,000 years.

Every flood leaves a layer of clean sand, Longmire said. But at the Birdwell site, core samples found a layer of "flood deposits of sand up to four feet thick" about 12 feet down, Longmire said, indicating a very big flood about 8,000 years ago.

A good overview of the dig site is available from the covered deck of "The Farmer's Wife," an agritourism venture operated by the Birdwells.

http://www.greenevillesun.com/story/307405

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#3 Jan-03-2010 03:45:pm

NanticokePiney
Member
From: Hopewell Twp., New Jersey
Registered: Jul-10-2007
Posts: 4214

Re: Archaeologists Finishing Up at Indian Village

bls926 wrote:

EVIDENCE OF BIG FLOOD?

Earlier core samples that went down 20 feet were analyzed to find how deep it was safe to dig with heavy equipment.

Core samples produced at least an indication of the geological history of the Nolichucky River valley going back 20,000 years.

Every flood leaves a layer of clean sand, Longmire said. But at the Birdwell site, core samples found a layer of "flood deposits of sand up to four feet thick" about 12 feet down, Longmire said, indicating a very big flood about 8,000 years ago.
http://www.greenevillesun.com/story/307405

It is about time somebody mentioned the catastrophic flooding during the end of the last glacier period which MOST LIKELY wiped out the mega fauna and buried MOST of the Clovis habitation sites.


I don't have anger issues...just violent reactions to B.S.
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      Warning:  Some Profanity
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