Saturday, May 19, 2007

By Juan Riera

Today was a Saturday and number of us came to the
site to work with Chuck Lawson, an archaeologist for SEAC (Southeast Archeological Center) a division of the National Park Service. Chuck brought a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), which is used to identify anomalies below the ground’s surface and can assist in identifying buried archaeological deposits. The antenna rides low to the ground on a three wheeler that looks like baby stroller. We ran the machine over the 2 large areas, adjacent to where we are shovel testing. One of the areas was a large parking lot that may be altered in the future. The GPR testing will help locate culturally sensitive areas to either avoid or mitigate if construction occurs. We also ran the GPR behind the Martin House, and from the preliminary results Chuck could observe as he was running the equipment, there was something located almost due north of a shovel test that produced an early 20th century door hinge and nails. Based on this evidence, we theorize a contemporary structure may have been demolished in the area.

Additionally, Chuck brought a magnetometer to test of portions of the site for the presence of ferrous metal. The magnetometer is extremely sensitive and the results of our tests are probably influenced by the large volume of bricks, electrical wiring, and pipes in the area.

It was quite a interesting learning experience that we all look forward to getting the results- even the couple of spouses who came along as volunteers.