News from OAC

Government Affairs Committee Report to Members, October 15, 2021

Government Affairs Committee Report to Members, October 15, 2021

Prepared by Al Tonetti, Chair

Andy Sewell, Lauren Sieg, and Mike Striker,Committee Members

The mission of the Government Affairs Committee is to develop and advance legislative priorities, consult with government agencies, interested parties, and the public regarding the effects of government policies, regulations, actions, and projects on Ohio archaeology and archaeological resources, and provide leadership regarding the role of archaeology and archaeologists in civic affairs. If you want to participate in the Committee’s work, please contact Al Tonetti.

State Issues

Human Burial Places Protection. Work on this matter with the Ohio History Connection (OHC) and its State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) continues. It is listed as a priority for the Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in OHC’s 2021 – 2031 Strategic Plan https://www.ohiohistory.org/OHC/media/OHC-Media/Documents/OHC_Strategic-Plan_Final.pdf. Ohio Archaeological Council (OAC) member and SHPO staffer Krista Horrocks wrote an article titled “Ohio Cemeteries are in Grave Danger: A Call to Action” in the September-October 2021 issue of OHC’s Echoes Magazine

Ohio Underground Damage Prevention Coalition. Due to the pandemic, subcommittees of the Coalition discussing revising Ohio’s “call before you dig”/underground utilities protection law met infrequently last year. A virtual Coalition meeting was held on February 25, 2021. Subcommittees may make recommendations on revising the law to the Coalition later this year, but any changes will not be proposed until 2022. Changes to training requirements are problematic.

Newark Earthworks Litigation. On July 7, 2020, the Ohio Supreme Court decided that it would hear Moundbuilders Country Club appeal that OHC can terminate their lease using Ohio’s eminent domain statute https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Clerk/ecms/#/caseinfo/2020/0191. Oral arguments were made on April 13. A decision is pending.

Federal Issues

Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). In July, the House passed the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684), a $715 billion, five-year transportation bill. The bill included an amendment to permanently fund the HPF and double its annual authorization from $150 million to $300 million. However, the Senate version, passed in August, does not contain that provision. Doubling the authorization could, if Congress makes a similar appropriation, significantly enhance the ability of State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs/THPOs) to carry out their duties under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), including providing much needed survey, planning, and registration grants. The HPF was established in 1976 and authorized at $150 million annually for SHPOs/THPOs. Funding for the HPF is provided from Outer Continental Shelf oil lease revenues, not tax dollars, and an amount is appropriated annually by Congress.

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The Department of the Interior is expected to formally publish proposed changes to the NAGPRA regulations in October. A summary of the proposed changes can be found at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nagpra/upload/NAGPRA-Draft-Regulations-Overview-of-Changes.pdf.

Bills in Congress (information on all bills available at https://www.congress.gov/):   

African American Burial Grounds Network Study Act. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) may reintroduce the African American Burial Ground Network Study Act in the Senate later this year. This bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to study how to identify, interpret, and preserve historic African American burial grounds. It authorizes $2.5 million to conduct the study and requires the results to be presented to Congress within three years of the money being made available. This bill differs somewhat from the legislation (S.2827) that was passed by the Senate on December 20, 2020. It died in the House.

H.R. 2930/S. 1471, Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony (STOP) Act. These bipartisan bills, to enhance protections of Native American tangible cultural heritage, including human remains and cultural items, have been reintroduced in the House and Senate. Among other things, the bills would bar, and establish stronger penalties for, knowingly exporting Native American cultural items that were obtained in violation of NAGPRA and/or the Archaeological Resources Protection Act; establish an export certification system for items allowed to be exported; establish a Native American working group to provide recommendations regarding the voluntary return of tangible cultural heritage by collectors, dealers, other individuals, and non-Federal organizations that hold tangible cultural heritage, and the elimination of illegal commerce of cultural items and archaeological resources in the United States and foreign markets. H.R. 2930 was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, and Committees on the Judiciary, and Foreign Affairs. A hearing on the bill occurred on May 20. In the Senate, S. 1471 was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs. On July 28, it was placed on the Senate legislative calendar and recommended for passage without amendment https://www.congress.gov/117/crpt/srpt33/CRPT-117srpt33.pdf. A vote is pending. Recently, the Society for American Archaeology drafted a flyer on the matter, linked to here https://documents.saa.org/container/docs/default-source/doc-governmentaffairs/stop_act_flyer.pdf?sfvrsn=b476a1d2_2. 

S.1942/HR1316, National Heritage Area Act. These bipartisan bills would establish a statutory framework for the National Park Service to administer the National Heritage Areas (NHA) program, bring uniformity to the way NHAs are designated, managed, and assessed, provide Congress the ability to conduct oversight of the program, provide $1 million in annual funding per NHA, reauthorize the 30 NHAs currently in limbo, and provide permanent authorization for the 55 current NHAs. Many NHAs include archaeological sites. 

Section 106 Consultations: 

Boston Mills North, Cuyahoga River Restoration. USEPA/NPS/USACE project, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cuyahoga and Summit counties. The OAC is a consulting party on this project to restore habitat and hydrology along several miles of the river. Federally recognized tribes are also involved. The project has been revised so it would not impact known, significant archaeological sites. However, the revised project has the potential to affect areas where there is a high potential for unrecorded sites to occur. Phase 1 archaeological surveys are in progress. We participate in all consulting party meetings and have submitted comments on the project’s scope of work to identify cultural resources and other matters. The project website is here: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=121&documentID=105031.

Irishtown Bend Hillside Stabilization. USDOT project, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County. The OAC accepted the invitation from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) to participate as a consulting party for the stabilization of the Irishtown Bend hillside to prevent it from sliding into the Cuyahoga River and disrupting Cuyahoga River commerce and recreation. The Irishtown Bend hillside includes a large archaeological district listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Its significance spans the period 1850 – 1910 when it was an enclave of unskilled European immigrant’s homes and shops supporting Cleveland’s shipping and other industries. In accepting the invitation, we noted that the project is likely to cause adverse effects to the archaeological district, which was archaeologically investigated in the late 1980s by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and in the 2000s by ASC Group. An archaeological data recovery and construction monitoring plan (DRP) has been developed, and an MOA was recently executed. We commented on both emphasizing data recovery over monitoring. A presentation about the project at an OAC membership meeting and the preparation of an article for the Journal of Ohio Archaeology are included as stipulations in the MOA.

LRH 2021-267-SCR, Project Charger. USACE project, Franklin and Licking counties. The OAC requested to participate as a consulting party on this 177-acre commercial development because of concerns with the level of effort used to identify archaeological sites in the project area.   

McConnelsville Dam Replacement. ODNR and USACE project, Morgan County. The OAC is a consulting party on this project to replace the dam and its adverse effects to it (see Muskingum River Locks and Dams Assessments and Improvements project immediate below). We commented on measures to identify archaeological resources during replacement of the dam as stipulations in the draft MOA. The MOA has been executed.  

Muskingum River Locks and Dams Assessments and Improvements. ODNR and USACE project, Coshocton, Morgan, Muskingum, and Washington counties. The OAC is a consulting party in developing a programmatic agreement (PA) to consider the effects of improvements on NRHP-listed structures in the Muskingum River Navigation Historic District. The improvements would be done over a 10-year period. Our comments were primarily focused on concerns for archaeological investigations of construction staging areas and roads to same and identifying archaeological resources during dewatering around dam and lock facilities. The PA was executed on August 17.

Section 14 Emergency Streambank Protection, Raccoon Creek. USACE project, Newark, Licking County. We received and commented on correspondence concerning a modification to the project being implemented under the 1946 Flood Control Act, providing the USACE authority to construct small-scale emergency shoreline and streambank protection works to protect public facilities such as bridges, roads, and non-profit public facilities. A portion of this project is within the boundaries of the Octagon Earthworks, a National Historic Landmark (NHL). Pursuant to Section 106 of the NHPA, agencies must, to the maximum extent possible, minimize harm to a NHL that may be directly and adversely affected by a project. This is a higher standard of protection than an undertaking affecting a property that is only listed or eligible for inclusion on the NRHP. We agreed that the modification would not directly or adversely affect the Octagon Earthworks.

Thornwood Crossing Bridge. ODOT project, Licking County (Newark). The OAC accepted ODOT’s invitation to be a consulting party to address impacts on 33LI1740, a Middle Woodland period habitation site containing pit features, midden, and other activity areas. We reviewed and commented on the archaeological reports, MOA, and DRP. The MOA has been executed.

TRU-SR-46/82. ODOT project, Trumbull County. We were asked by an OAC member to get involved in this project. We requested consulting party status from ODOT, which was granted. We participated in a public meeting and separate consulting party meetings expressing concerns about the adequacy of the Phase 1 archaeological survey at a NRHP-eligible historic farmstead residence, which will be demolished or relocated, because geophysical survey was omitted from the Phase 1 scope of work. The archaeological component of the residence identified solely through shovel tests was determined not eligible for the NRHP by ODOT and SHPO prior to our involvement in the project. We submitted comments concerning the efficacy of the Phase 1 report and requested ground penetrating radar of the yard to identify anomalies of possible cultural significance, and archaeological testing of same, as stipulations in ODOT’s MOA to ensure that NRHP-eligible features would not be affected by the project. ODOT rejected this request. We recently commented on the draft MOA, and our concerns remain.

WAR-SR 63-0.38. ODOT project, Warren County. We were invited by ODOT to be a consulting party on this project, which we accepted. The project will widen 3.4-mile segment of SR 63 to four lanes. Known archaeological resources, including remnants of the former Union Shaker Village, may be affected by the project. A consulting parties meeting was held on July 8, and we made comments concerning a draft MOA and DRP. The final MOA was recently executed.

Zoar Levee and Diversion Dam repair. USACE project, Tuscarawas County. We continue to participate in monthly consulting party meetings on this project which will impact the Zoar Historic District, a NHL. The USACE and their archaeological consultants have conducted multiple archaeological and geophysical investigations in the project area. We reviewed and commented on the Phase 1 archaeological survey report, which included geomorphological, geophysical, deep trenching, and shovel test pit investigations. We reviewed and commented on the finding of effects and effects management options report. We also reviewed and commented on a management summary and survey report of a second geophysical survey report noting concerns about its efficacy. Continued consulting party meetings and concerns about the second investigation led to a third round of geophysical and archaeological survey. We reviewed and commented on the third-round management summary and report, which we found favorable. For information on this project see https://www.lrh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Current-Projects/Zoar/.

Fall Members Meeting: October 15, 2021

For the last time as president-elect, I am announcing our fall 2021 members meeting. It will be remote and live on October 15th from 9:30 to 12:00. Our meeting will be held via Webex, hosted by president Kevin Nolan. Members will receive an email invitation to Webex meetings in advance of October 15. This one is a bit shorter than our usual meetings, but I am still excited to hear from our presenters, and to discuss OAC business with the members.

For the public, we will be live streaming the meeting, except the OAC business meeting, on the OAC YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCihQNObsGAzCtTT__euQ1kA .See below for a full list of presenters and abstracts. We look forward to seeing you there!

I hope to see you there!

Eric

Time Slot Presenter(s) Topic
9:30 – 10:00   Meghan Marley, Jeff Gill, and Brad Lepper The Newark Holy Stones and the “Coin of Evia”: Lies, Damned Lies, and Barry Fell’s epigraphy
10:00 – 10:30 Brian Redmond Preliminary Descriptions of an Early Late Woodland Post Structure from the Heckleman Site, Erie Co., Ohio
10:30 – 11:00 Kevin Nolan, Christine Thompson, Rebecca Barzilai, and Moayad Yacoub Unearthing a Half-Century of Archaeological Research in Indiana: Digitizing the Report of Investigations and Archaeological Report Series, and Associated Diagnostic Artifacts
11:00 – 12:00   OAC Business Meeting
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Presenter Abstracts

The Newark Holy Stones and the “Coin of Evia”: Lies, Damned Lies, and Barry Fell’s epigraphy

By Meghan Marley, Jeff Gill, and Brad Lepper

The Newark Holy Stones are a series of five fraudulent artifacts inscribed with Hebrew lettering that were found in Licking County, Ohio beginning in 1860. In 1980, Barry Fell, in Saga America, introduced a sixth artifact into the discussion, but instead of a Hebrew inscription, this “Coin of Evia” was said to have Celtiberic lettering. All of the original Holy Stones have been revealed to be forgeries or hoaxes. The misnamed Coin of Evia has been ignored by scholars -- until now. We here outline the circumstances of the discovery of all of these peculiar objects, present the overwhelming evidence for their fraudulent nature, and discuss the disparate agendas behind their creation in the 19th century and their revival in the 20th.


Preliminary Descriptions of an Early Late Woodland Post Structure from the Heckleman Site, Erie Co., Ohio

By Brian Redmond

Recent investigations at the Heckelman site in Erie Co., Ohio have uncovered the partial remains of an early Late Woodland wooden post circle. This construction measures approximately 13 meters in diameter and dates to ca. AD 600-750.  This is the second post circle found at the site; the first measured 21 meters in diameter and is thought to date to the Middle Woodland period. The smaller circle (Structure 5) surrounds a number of Late Woodland pits, charcoal deposits, a large storage pit, and possible interior support posts, the last of which suggests that this was a roofed structure.  This presentation will describe the material remains and preliminary analyses of field data from this recent discovery.

Unearthing a Half-Century of Archaeological Research in Indiana: Digitizing the Report of Investigations and Archaeological Report Series, and Associated Diagnostic Artifacts

By Kevin Nolan, Christine Thompson, Rebecca Barzilai, and Moayad Yacoub 

With funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources, Ball State University’s Applied Anthropology Laboratories is executing multi-year project digitizing over 50 years of archaeological research, making significant Indiana archaeological data readily accessible for the first time. We will share our status, challenges, successes as we enter the second year of this project.  These legacy collections include 18 Archaeological Reports and 110 Reports of Investigations (AR/ROIs) from 1965 to present. AR/ROI reports and maps are currently being scanned, digitized, and redacted; and 4,000 of the most diagnostic and culturally identifiable artifacts associated with these AR/ROIs are being 3D-scanned and photographed. All reports, maps, and artifact images will be uploaded into The Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) with artifact models shared on Sketchfab. These AR/ROIs cover Indiana’s long occupation history from the earliest (~11,500 B.C.) precontact American Indian land-use and ceremonial behaviors through frontier military engagements, historic American Indian village/settlements, and twentieth century farmsteads. These difficult to access and underutilized collections contain valuable information for the public, American Indian scholars, historians, and ethno-historians throughout the Midwest and nation.

Ohio History Fund Grant Deadline is September 28, 2021

In addition to grant funds available to our members, each year the Ohio History Fund awards grants to Ohio-based nonprofit organizations and public entities including, but not limited to, local historical societies and museums, historic preservation groups, and archaeological societies. Archaeological projects and activities are eligible for History Fund grants. Individuals and for-profit businesses are not eligible for History Fund grants. Ineligible applicants may serve as contractors to grant awardees but are not eligible to apply for History Fund grants directly. For information about applying for a grant, click on the link below.

https://www.ohiohistory.org/preserve/local-history-services/history-fund/history-fund-application-(1)

OAC GRANTS PROGRAM

Attention

Do You have a Great Idea of a Field or Lab project in Archaeology in Ohio and need Funding for a Small Grant?  Or, Students, do you want to attend a Field School in Archaeology in Ohio?


The Ohio Archaeological Council has a grants program & is accepting applications! 

The OAC has a scholarship program for field schools and is accepting applications!

Maximum funding levels have been increased to… 

  • OAC Grants: $1000
  • Essenpreis Grants: $1500
  • Scholarships: $750

Are you an OAC member or higher education student?  If so, check and see if you should apply*.

  

 

 

 

                   

                     Lab Projects                          Field Projects and Field Schools

 *Granting Guidelines are available at:

https://www.ohioarchaeology.org/membership/oac-grants or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For scholarships: please contact Bob Genheimer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Government Affairs Committee Report to Members, May 7, 2021

Government Affairs Committee Report to Members, May 7, 2021

Prepared by Al Tonetti, Chair

Andy Sewell, Lauren Sieg, and Mike Striker, Committee Members

The mission of the Government Affairs Committee is to develop and advance legislative priorities, consult with government agencies, interested parties, and the public regarding the effects of government policies, regulations, actions, and projects on Ohio archaeology and archaeological resources, and provide leadership regarding the role of archaeology and archaeologists in civic affairs. If you want to participate in the Committee’s work, please contact Al Tonetti.

State Issues

SHPO Online Mapping System Update. The State Historic Preservation Office’s (SHPO) GIS was recently updated to include a county-level database showing Federally recognized tribes, local historical societies, and historic preservation organizations, including the Ohio Archaeological Council (OAC), who should be consulted during Section 106 undertakings. This “interested parties” list includes the OAC for all 88 Ohio counties.

SHPO Integrated Project System (IPS). Later this year, SHPO plans to launch a web-based application for use by agencies, consulting firms, interested parties, and others to submit projects for Section 106 review, National Register nominations, Ohio Historic Inventory Forms and Ohio Archaeological Inventory Forms. Documents, images, reports, and correspondence for any given project will be stored in IPS and be available for viewing by those directly associated with projects. SHPO will review submissions and communicate with submitters through IPS. Updates will be posted at https://www.ohiohistory.org/ips.

Human Burial Places Protection Bill. The Ohio History Connection (OHC) and its SHPO continue to work with the OAC on this matter. Since we were unsuccessful in getting a bill introduced into the 133rd General Assembly, primarily due to legislative inaction during the pandemic and some opposition from interested parties, we decided to take a different approach. We decided to draft a bill creating a human burial grounds task force to study relevant issues and make recommendations to the Governor and leaders of the General Assembly, similar to the Ohio Cemetery Law Task Force of 2013-2014. The bill has been drafted and we met twice with the likely sponsor, Representative Mark Johnson (R-Chillicothe), discussing the need for and composition of the task force. With his background in the construction industry, Rep. Johnson has some familiarity with encountering human burial places during construction projects and wants to see a reasonable process for dealing with these matters established in Ohio. A few other legislators interested in co-sponsoring the bill have been identified. The task force would be composed of 15 individuals representing various interest groups, including someone from the OAC, appointed by the Governor and leaders of the House and Senate. Rep. Johnson is contacting the interest groups gauging their interest in serving. The OHC would provide administrative support for the task force. The task force would address better protection of human burial grounds including abandoned and inactive cemeteries as well as unmarked human burial sites and the human remains contained therein, but not active cemeteries, the latter of which was the focus of the 2013-2014 task force. The new task force would receive testimony from interested parties and have one year to complete their work and submit a report to the Governor, House Speaker, and Senate President. If you are interested in serving as the OAC’s representative on this task force or know of someone who should, please contact President Nolan or Al Tonetti ASAP. 

Foster Cemetery, Green Township, Adams County. The OAC was contacted by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for advice concerning how to address graves in danger of eroding into Ohio Brush Creek at the township administered cemetery. Erosion is severe and the threat ongoing. TNC is an adjacent landowner considering having any graves removed reburied on their property. Ohio has no standards for how such removals should be done, and the township does not have funds for conducting the proper removal and reburial. Options for getting bioarchaeologists to assist with the removal were explored, and the Columbus-based Institute for Research and Learning in Archaeology and Bioarchaeology (IRLAB) submitted a proposal to do so as part of their education and training programs.

Worthington Cemetery, Highland Township, Defiance County. The OAC was contacted for help in identifying a vanished 19th century African American cemetery being farmed by a local government agency. Prior to discovering what is thought to be the general location of the cemetery, in 1993 an archaeological investigation of the area was conducted for a proposed sewer and water treatment facility, which has not been built. The archaeological survey identified a Late Archaic “Glacial Kame” site that was recommended for additional investigation because it yielded artifacts often associated with human burials. A piece of a headstone was subsequently recovered in the general location of what is thought to be the historic cemetery. Discussions concerning how to locate graves from the African American cemetery and who could do this work ensued. The local group trying to preserve this cemetery is working with the local government agency to stop farming the area thought to contain the cemetery, to maintain it as green space, erect a marker at the site, and allow public access to it.

Newark Earthworks Litigation. On July 7, 2020, the Ohio Supreme Court decided that it would hear Moundbuilders Country Club appeal that OHC can terminate their lease using Ohio’s eminent domain statute. Oral arguments were held April 13, 2021. The court documents and the oral arguments video can be found at https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Clerk/ecms/#/caseinfo/2020/0191.

ODNR Acquisition of Oldtown Council House Site, Greene County. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will acquire and develop a new state park at the former late 18th Shawnee Indian settlement of Oldtown in Xenia. The State Controlling Board approved ODNR's proposal to purchase the property for $260,000 and to transform the half-acre property into Ohio's 76th state park. ODNR plans to engage with the three sovereign and federally recognized Shawnee Tribes, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, the Shawnee Tribe, and the Absentee Shawnee, to preserve the site. The state park will include an interpretive center and several markers memorializing historical events at Oldtown.

Ohio Underground Damage Prevention Coalition. Due to the pandemic, subcommittees of the Coalition discussing revising Ohio’s “call before you dig”/underground utilities protection law met infrequently last year. A virtual Coalition meeting was held on February 25, 2021 discussing where we go from here. Subcommittees may make recommendations on revising the law to the Coalition later this year, but any changes would be unlikely until 2022. Changes to training requirements are still in the discussion phase. OHIO811’s website, https://www.oups.org/legislative-coalition-oudpc/, contains updates.

Statehood Day. A virtual Statehood Day was held on March 1, and the Ohio Museums Association hosted a follow-up discussion about the legislative priorities on March 2. Approximately 215 attended the former and 30 the latter. The priorities include the bill creating the human burial grounds task force and OHC’s budget. 

Federal Issues

Bills in Congress (information on all bills available at https://congress.gov/):  

African American Burial Grounds Network Study Act. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) are preparing to reintroduce the African American Burial Ground Network Study Act. This bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to study how to identify, interpret, and preserve historic African American burial grounds. It authorizes $2.5 million to conduct the study and requires the results to be presented to Congress within three years of the money being made available. This bill differs somewhat from the legislation (S.2827) that was introduced in the last Congress and passed by the Senate on December 20, 2020. 

S. 820, Paving the Way for Rural Communities Act. This bill would exclude certain federal undertakings from complying with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act (i.e., Section 106) in any area of the country that is not part of a metropolitan statistical area. This bill is similar to legislation that was introduced in the previous Congress. The bill was referred to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

H.R. 2930/S. 1471, Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act. These bipartisan bills, to enhance protections of Native American tangible cultural heritage, including human remains and cultural items, have been reintroduced in the House and Senate. Among other things, the bills would bar and establish stronger penalties for knowingly exporting Native American cultural items that were obtained in violation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and/or the Archaeological Resources Protection Act; establish an export certification system for items allowed to be exported; establish a Native American working group to provide recommendations regarding the voluntary return of tangible cultural heritage by collectors, dealers, other individuals, and non-Federal organizations that hold tangible cultural heritage, and the elimination of illegal commerce of cultural items and archaeological resources in the United States and foreign markets. H.R. 2930 was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, and Committees on the Judiciary, and Foreign Affairs. In the Senate, S. 1471 was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.

Section 106 Consultations: 

Boston Mills North, Cuyahoga River Restoration. USEPA/NPS/USACE project, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cuyahoga and Summit counties. The OAC is a consulting party on this project to restore habitat and hydrology along several miles of the river. Federally recognized tribes are also involved. The project has been revised so it would not impact known and likely significant (National Register eligible) archaeological sites. However, the revised project has the potential to affect areas where there is a high potential for new sites to be found. A programmatic agreement addressing these impacts is being developed and scoping for archaeological investigations is underway, led by the National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). We participate in all consulting party meetings and have submitted comments on the project’s scope of work to identify cultural resources and other matters. The project website can be found at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=121&documentID=105031

Buckeye Lake East End Dredge Material Relocation Area. USACE/ODNR project, Perry County. The OAC is a consulting party on this project that affects 33PE1221, an open-air Late Archaic habitation site determined NRHP eligible. Avoidance of project impacts was recommended by USACE/ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) and SHPO. The OAC requested further clarification on the site’s NRHP eligibility and why avoidance was recommended over data recovery. The site has been fenced off and will be avoided by the project.

Irishtown Bend Hillside Stabilization. USDOT project, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County. The OAC accepted the invitation from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Maritime Administration to participate as a consulting party for the stabilization of the Irishtown Bend hillside to prevent it from sliding into the Cuyahoga River and disrupting Cuyahoga River commerce and recreation. The Irishtown Bend hillside includes a large archaeological district listed in the NRHP. Its significance spans the period 1850 – 1910 when it was an enclave of unskilled European immigrants’ homes and shops supporting Cleveland’s shipping and other industries. In accepting the invitation, we noted that the project is likely to cause adverse effects to the archaeological district, which was archaeologically investigated in the late 1980s by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Consulting party meetings and scoping of the archaeological investigations begin on May 12.

McConnelsville Dam Replacement. ODNR and USACE project, Morgan County. The OAC is a consulting party on this project to replace the dam and its adverse effects to it (see Muskingum River Locks and Dams Assessments and Improvements project immediate below). We are currently discussing what measures are appropriate to mitigate adverse effects to the dam as stipulations in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) being developed. A draft of the MOA is anticipated this week.  

Muskingum River Locks and Dams Assessments and Improvements. ODNR and USACE project, Coshocton, Morgan, Muskingum, and Washington counties. The OAC is a consulting party in developing a programmatic agreement to consider the effects of improvements on NRHP-listed structures in the Muskingum River Navigation Historic District. The improvements would be done over a 10-year period. Our comments are primarily focused on concerns for archaeological investigations of construction staging areas and roads to same and identifying archaeological resources during dewatering around dam and lock facilities. 

Thornwood Crossing Bridge. ODOT project, Licking County (Newark). The OAC accepted the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) invitation to be a consulting party to address impacts on 33LI1740, a Middle Woodland period Hopewell habitation site containing relatively undisturbed pit features, midden, and activity areas. We reviewed and commented on the archaeological reports and data recovery plan.

WAR-SR 63-0.38. ODOT project, Warren County. We accepted an invitation from ODOT to be a consulting party on this project. The project will widen a 3.4-mile segment of SR 63 to four lanes. Archaeological resources associated with the West Families of the Union Shaker Village may be affected by the project.

Wayne National Forest Plan Revision. After two years of planning, the Wayne National Forest Supervisor decided to suspend revision of the 2006 forest plan in order to focus on ongoing priorities. See plan revision information at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/wayne/landmanagement/planning.

Zoar Levee and Diversion Dam repair. USACE project, Tuscarawas County. We continue to participate in monthly consulting party meetings on this project affecting the Zoar Historic District, a National Historic Landmark. The USACE and their archaeological consultants have conducted multiple archaeological and geophysical investigations in the project area. We reviewed and commented on the Phase 1 archaeological survey report, which included geomorphological, geophysical, deep trenching, and shovel test pit investigations. We reviewed and commented on the finding of effects and effects management options report. We also reviewed and commented on a management summary of a second geophysical survey report noting concerns about its efficacy. We are now reviewing a proposed scope of work for a third archaeological and geophysical survey. For information on this project see https://www.lrh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Current-Projects/Zoar/.

OAC Spring Meeting

May 7, 2021, Spring Members Meeting

It is once again time for our spring members meeting, which will be virtually hosted on May 7th from 9:30 to 14:30. I am excited to see some of the presenters for this meeting, including the panel discussion that will be kicking off the meeting. Our meeting will be held via Webex, hosted by president Kevin Nolan. Members will receive an email invitation to the Zoom and Webex meetings in advance of May 7.

We are also trying out a virtual poster session, held during the lunch hour. The poster authors will be available for questions, and if necessary, we will create breakout rooms on Zoom. The posters can be viewed at the following site: https://padlet.com/eolseric/ivb12a6pgu6etnfy. You do not need an account to access the posters, and you do not need an account to post comments. You can visit the site as often as you would like so long as you have the link. 

For the public, we will be live streaming the meeting, except the OAC business meeting, on the OAC youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCihQNObsGAzCtTT__euQ1kA. For those members of the public who wish to speak at the meeting, there will also be a Zoom meeting, hosted by president Nolan. See below for a full list of presenters and abstracts. We look forward to seeing you there!

Schedule

Time  slot  Presenter  Topic
 9:30  Al Tonetti, Kevin Nolan, Jarrod Burks, Thomas Grooms Geophyisics as a Viable Tool in Phase 1 Archaeological Investigations: Bringing Ohio Archaeology Into the 21st Century
 10:30   Jarrod Burks  There’s More than One Way to Make a Great Circle: Magnetic Survey Results from the Deer Creek Circle and the Bertsch Site
 11:00   Elizabeth Hoag Update on the Shaker Dig program, Shaker Heights, Ohio. 
 11:30   Kevin Nolan Newark Earthworks and Virtual World Heritage Ohio: Introduction to a Prototype, Multi-audience Virtual World Experience 
 12:00     Lunch
 1:00   Jeb Bowen  Hopewellian, Chesser and Jack's Reef Point Distributions in South-Central Ohio
 1:30     OAC Business Meeting
2:30   Adjorn

 

Presentation Abstracts

There’s More than One Way to Make a Great Circle: Magnetic Survey Results from the Deer Creek Circle and the Bertsch Site

Jarrod Burks

Great Circles are one of the more common large earthwork types in the Middle Ohio Valley. They occur as stand-alone ditch-and-embankment enclosures, often 1000 feet or more in diameter, or are attached to other large enclosures. In the winter of 2020-2021, the Heartland Earthworks Conservancy conducted magnetic gradiometer surveys at two Woodland period earthwork sites with Great Circles: the Deer Creek Circle and Bertsch. This presentation explores the results of the surveys and contextualizes these two distinct interpretations of the Great Circle class of earthen enclosure. The Deer Creek Circle is located in northern Ross County, OH and was only recently discovered in aerial photographs by David Lamp. In addition to the enclosure, the magnetic data also reveal two possible structures and an intriguing array of large pit features. Bertsch is a well known site in eastern Indiana with nearly three dozen small enclosures, some of which are arranged in a pattern echoing the Great Circles of southern and central Ohio. Though located some distance outside the main concentrations of large earthwork complexes in the region, the Bertsch site monuments show that the shift to large enclosure use and construction was realized in a variety of ways.

Geophysics as a Viable Tool in Phase 1 Archaeological Investigations: Bringing Ohio Archaeology Into the 21st Century

Al Tonetti (Moderator). Panelists: Kevin Nolan, Jarrod Burks, Thomas Grooms

This panel discussion will examine the efficacy of using archaeological geophysics in Phase 1 field investigations to identify archaeological “sites” (a construct we may re-examine at another time) eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, called “historic properties”. The primary question explored is under what circumstances in regulatory processes (e.g., 36 CFR Part 800/Section 106 and ORC 149.53) is magnetic gradiometry (and/or other geophysical instrumentation) a Phase 1 survey best practice for complying with the Section 106 standard of making a reasonable and good faith effort to identify historic properties archaeological in nature.

Hopewellian, Chesser and Jack's Reef Point Distributions in South-Central Ohio

Jeb Bowen

The distributions of Hopewellian (1600 to 1900 years), Chesser (1600 to 1300 years) and Jack's Reef (1300 to 1100 years) Points within south-central Ohio are mapped. The similarities and differences are discussed in terms of settlement/land-use patterns, as well as sampling and reporting biases and inconsistencies.

Update on the Shaker Dig program, Shaker Heights, Ohio

Elizabeth Hoag

The Shaker Dig youth program is about to enter its 7th consecutive summer at the Shaker Historical Museum. I offer here an update about how we have managed to keep the program alive throughout the past year as we navigated a number of challenges, including how to engage with the public and with young people through a pandemic, and our hopeful and ambitious plans going forward. 

Newark Earthworks and Virtual World Heritage Ohio: Introduction to a Prototype, Multi-audience Virtual World Experience

Kevin C. Nolan, John Fillwalk, Brad Lepper, Jennifer Aultman, Meghan Federer, Neil Zehr, Jade Moore, Christine Ballengee Morris, Brett Barnes, Marti L. Chaatsmith, and James J. Connolly

The Hopewell (ca. 1 to 400 CE) monumental earthworks were expressions of a brilliant florescence of art, architecture, ceremony, and interregional interaction unparalleled in contemporary North America. “Hopewell” societies participated in a sophisticated interaction sphere that likely involved a mixture of gift-giving, pilgrimage offerings, extraordinary journeys by individuals and small groups, and trade. These places of aggregation, celebration, and renewal are now severed from these functions. It is no longer possible to experience and investigate the original forms of these monuments. The barriers of time and space limit various audiences (e.g., tribal citizens, K-12 schools, researchers) from being able to interact with and learn from these earthworks. New digital technologies provide opportunities to overcome these challenges through virtual Hopewellian built environments.

The Newark Earthworks, the preeminent example of Hopewellian geometric earthworks, consists of four large enclosures connected by avenues of parallel walls enveloping more than 3.9 mi2. The complex inscribes intricate knowledge of the celestial ecosystem into the site geometry. Precisely inscribing these alignments on the ground, required extensive planning and exquisite knowledge of the sky’s various cycles.

The Applied Anthropology Laboratories and the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts, in partnership with the Ohio History Connection, The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology, and a project Advisory Board, with a Level II Digital Humanities Advancement Grant (HAA-269032-20), develop an interactive 3D simulation to advance scholarship on, and public engagement with the Newark Earthworks, specifically, and Ohio’s Hopewell ceremonial centers, generally. We present an introductory overview of Virtual World Heritage Ohio and a discussion of our progress to-date.

Poster Abstracts

Identifying and Mapping the Chaine Operatoire:  ASC’s Phase III Investigations of a Cobble Chert Quarry/Workshop site, Brown County, Ohio 

Kevin Schwarz

Recently, ASC Group, Inc. completed a multi-season Phase III investigation of the Yates site, an 11-ac multicomponent prehistoric site next to White Oak Creek in Brown County, Ohio. The site combines elements of Late Archaic and Late Woodland camp sites with a small-scale low-intensity quarry/workshop for cobble chert. It appears that the quarry and workshop component was utilized most intensively in the Early Archaic period (10,000 BC-ca. 5800 BC) and Late Archaic period (3500 BC-800 BC) and, most likely, usage tailed off during the Woodland period (800 BC-AD 900. Attempts to disentangle the habitation and quarry/workshop components of the site led to use of two analytical techniques: 1) the development of chaine operatoire diagrams for a divergent lithic reduction sequence; and, 2) mapping and spatial statistical analysis of debitage and tools. First, I focus on a composite chaine operatoire (operator chain), which is a flow chart, that identifies the bifacial reduction continuum and how expedient tools are often created as co-products incident to the bifacial tradition.  The bifacial reduction continuum is better studied and expedient tool making techniques are poorly known. The spatial distribution of cobbles, intermediate products like cores, hammerstones, chert tools, and debitage then were mapped in relation to the swales from which raw materials were gathered. The Local Indicator of Spatial Association (LISA), a spatial statistical technique, was applied to cortical and non-cortical debitage. The results demonstrate where decortication of chert cobbles was occurring and consequently how the sequencing of lithic reduction operations  played out across the site.  This research improves our knowledge of expedient and low-intensity lithic processing technology. 

The Hilliard Site, Cuyahoga County, Ohio 

Eric Olson

The Hilliard site was first documented by Arthur Smith circa 1908 at the corner of Hilliard Road and Indianola Avenue in Rocky River, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Smith published several accounts of his investigations of the site spanning roughly 50 years in Ohio Archaeologist. Recently, part of Smith’s collection was rediscovered at the University of Akron archaeology laboratory. Though the information and collection are small, these artifacts represent a handful of archaeological investigations within the entire Rocky River watershed.

 

 

Latest News

by Eric Olson on October 12, 2021
by Kevin Schwarz on May 10, 2021