Tuesday, Oct 2, 2012
In November, 2010, a settlement agreement was signed with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for a 19jj incident that took place in the park in September, 2009. A contractor working for ODOT at that time inadvertently placed a silt fence within park boundaries during a highway expansion project. In the settlement agreement, which did not constitute an admission of liability, ODOT agreed to pay the Department of Interior a sum of $152,377. The National Park Service, through the Department of Interior, has been using the funds to survey, test, and assess archeological resources along the west boundary of the park’s Mound City Group Unit, which may have been injured during the incident, and to fund actions to restore and protect archeological resources. The Midwest Archeological Center has worked with the park to undertake archeological investigations along Highway 104 to document any archeological resources identified within the 8.16-acre project area since 2010. A geophysical survey was completed and numerous magnetic and resistive anomalies were identified in the data that could represent subsurface cultural features. A sample of the anomalies was investigated through excavation, and two features attributed to the Middle Woodland period were encountered as well as historic and prehistoric artifacts. These results verify the presence of buried site resources in the project area, provide important information on previous occupations, and will contribute to site protection. A GIS base map of Mound City has been updated with accurate state site locations, a revised park boundary, historical imagery, and project-related data layers. The geophysical data have been accurately geo-referenced and spatial data generated by previous archeological fieldwork have been processed and integrated with existing data. Newly added historical data include digitized plan maps of Camp Sherman – geo-referenced directly to magnetically detected building remains – and Squier and Davis’ 1846 plan map. Finally, the base map also makes use of high-resolution aerial imagery of Ross County and the Ohio statewide LiDAR dataset. Research is on-going, and data collected is assisting park operations.