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Technical Brief 5 Intentional Site Burial: A Technique to Prevent Against Natural or Mechanical Loss

References Cited

Carr, Christopher
1982       Handbook on Soil Resistivity Surveying: Interpretation of Data from Earthen Archeological Sites. Center for American Archeology Press, Evanston.

Chace, Paul 0.
1981       Perspectives an Archeological Site Capping. Contract Abstracts and CRM Archeology (now American Archeology) 3(l).

Chapman, Jefferson
1978       The Bacon Farm Site and a Buried Site Reconnaissance. Tennessee Valley Authority Publications in Anthropology No. 21, University of Tennessee, Department of Anthropology, Report of Investigations Number 23, Knoxville.

Garfinkel, Alan P., and Bobby L. Lister
1983       Effects of High Embankment Construction on Archaeological Materials. Transportation Laboratory, California Department of Transportation, Sacramento.

Haynes, C. Vance, Jr., and E. Thomas Hemming
1968       Mammoth-bone Shaft Wrench from Murray Springs, Arizona. Science 159:3811.

Jensen, Peter M.
1976       Archaeological Investigations at CA-MER-27. The First California Site for which Total Coverage with Soil has been Agreed to as Partial Mitigation. Report prepared for U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Sacramento.

Klinger, Thomas C.
1982       The Mangrum Site, Mitigation Through Excavation and Preservation. Arkansas Archeological Survey Research Series No. 20, Fayetteville.

Mathewson, Christopher C.
1988       Protection and Preservation of Archaeological Sites through Burial: A Multidisciplinary Problem. Paper presented at the 1988 Society for Applied Anthropology Meeting. Paper on file at the Center for Engineering Geosciences, Texas A & M University.

Mathewson, Christopher C. (editor)
1989       Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Physical-Chemical-Biological Processes Affecting Archeological Sites. Contract Report EL-89-1, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg.

Mathewson, Christopher C., and Tania Gonzales
1988       Protection and Preservation of Archaeological Sites through Burial. In Engineering Geology of Ancient Works, Monuments and Historical Sites: Preservation and Protection, edited by Paul G. Marinos and George C. Koukis, pp. 519-526. A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam.

Thorne, Robert M.
1988a       Guidelines for the Organization of Archeological Sites Stabilization Projects: A Modeled Approach. Technical Report EL-88-8, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg.

1988b       Filter Fabric: A Technique for Short-term Site Stabilization. Archeological Assistance Program Technical Brief No. 1, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service.

Thorne, Robert M., Patricia M. Fay, and James J. Hester
1987       Archeological Site Preservation Techniques: A Preliminary Review. Technical Report EL-87-3, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg.

U.S. Department of the Interior
1975       Professional Considerations Surrounding Non-Aqueous Burial of Archeological Sites. Interagency Archeological Program Administrative Memorandum No. 4; Supplement No. 1. Interagency Archeological Services, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service.

Wilkie, Duncan C., Michael T. Aide, and Ray Knox
1986       Phase III, Archaeological Mitigation of Archaeological Sites 23BU239 and 23BU241. Report submitted to the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department, Jefferson City.

Annotated Bibliography

Garfinkel, Alan P., and Bobby L. Lister
1983       Effects of High Embankment Construction on Archaeological Materials. Transportation Laboratory, California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS), Sacramento.

The authors report on a field study conducted by CALTRANS to determine the effects of placing a 75-foot-high embankment over an area constructed to simulate a North American Indian archeological site. Two small test units were excavated, and artifacts were placed in three layers. The locations of all artifacts were carefully plotted, and both units were instrumented with soil pressure meters. Access to the test units beneath the fill was monitored through a 5-foot culvert that terminated with a 72-inch "T" section. Ground water levels beneath the fill was measured through a well drilled into the "T" section. Soil pressure meters were also placed in an actual site on an adjacent project to provide comparative data. Examination of the buried materials indicated soil compaction around the artifacts, and gross morphological changes in the test materials were noted. Guidelines and recommendations for future site burial projects are included. This project is also covered by a technical note in the Archeological Site Protection and Preservation Notebook, described below.

Jensen, Peter M.
1976       Archaeological Investigations at CA-MER-27. The First California Site for which Total Coverage with Soil has been Agreed to as Partial Mitigation. Report prepared for U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Sacramento.

Jensen presents the results of archeological investigations that were conducted prior to the burial of CA-MER-27. He includes a 10-page discussion of the future burial of the site and raises a series of questions regarding the validity of site burial as a reasonable mitigation measure. He concludes what appears to be a negative view of site burial by indicating that limited knowledge about a significant archeological site is sufficient justification for its preservation using this method. More importantly, Appendix 2 describes the proposed burial activity. It includes as part of that description portions of the Bureau of Reclamation's original burial proposal with data on compaction, settlement, and slumping which were used to predict how the archeological component might react to burial under a 3-foot protective covering. This appendix provides a great deal of insight into the planning and testing required prior to the burial of an archeological property.

Mathewson, Christopher C. (editor)
1989       Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Physical-Chemical-Biological Processes Affecting Archeological Sites. Contract Report EL-89-1, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg.

The information in this report was collected to develop an archeological site decay model that can be applied in planning and design activities for intentional site burial projects. It presents the papers of the workshop as a convenient summary of current scientific knowledge concerning site development processes and their influences on cultural materials. Cultural and natural processes are discussed, particularly to identify interactions of physical, biological and chemical factors with archeological site components. The archeological site decay model is based upon the decay matrix illustrated in Figure 1 (in this technical brief).

U.S. Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers
1988       The Archeological Site Protection and Preservation Notebook. Environmental Research Program, Vicksburg.

The notebook contains a regularly updated series of technical notes that summarize original research and abstracted published and unpublished accounts about site preservation. They address the causes of site degradation and techniques for in situ site protection. The notebook is organized into eleven chapters that cover different protection categories. The chapter on intentional site burial contains three technical notes. Two additional notes on the subject will be published in the immediate future.

Wilkie, Duncan C., Michael T. Aide, and Ray Knox
1986       Phase III, Archaeological Mitigation of Archaeological Sites 23BU239 and 23BU241. Report submitted to the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department, Jefferson City.

The authors summarize both the Phase I and Phase II work completed at these two sites and the Scope of Work for the mitigation project. Site burial and artifact reburial are included as basic components of the mitigation plan. They further indicate that the research design for Phase III work will be based on an improvement of the CALTRANS site burial test project. They indicate that the present project is designed to test the impact of moderately deep burial on both artifacts and intact site components. Portions of both sites were left undisturbed and scheduled to be covered as a pan of the construction phase of Route 60. Following selective excavation and detailed analysis of the recovered artifacts, representative examples were returned to the site and reburied in their original locations.

Recommendations for measuring burial impact include soil chemistry tests at 2-year intervals and excavations to compare undisturbed features and reburied artifacts after a 10-year interval. This interval should allow the detection of any impacts that burial and reburial will have on the site and its contents. A description of the engineering design used in the burial of these two sites is not contained in the Scope of Work, the mitigation proposal, or the archeological report. One is left to assume that standard Missouri Highway and Transportation Department engineering and construction design was used. Complete physical and chemical data as well as some soil compaction data were gathered to serve as a baseline in future studies.

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