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Pennsylvania Department of Transportation - District 3
Phase II Archaeological Evaluation at 36NB16, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania
for Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Engineering District 3-0, Montoursville, Pennsylvania
Following a Phase I archaeological testing program for the proposed I-80 Bridge Expansion project for Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, a Phase II investigation was undertaken by EAC/Archaeology in partnership with Skelly & Loy. Located in Turbot Township, Northumberland County, the project site is on the east bank of the Susquehanna River. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation intends to construct a series of bridge piers for the expansion of I-80 in this location. Phase I investigations demonstrated that intact Archaic and Woodland components of 36NB16 were present in the project area. Phase II investigations began I January 1999 and continued until April 1999. The goal of the Phase II investigations was the recovery of buried Archaic and Woodland components, with diagnostic flaked stone and ceramic artifacts, carbonized floral remains and intact cultural features. Site 36NB16 has been determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion D.
Phase II investigations included additional background research into Susquehanna Valley prehistory, including review of relevant site reports; an examination of artifact collections from sites within or near the project limits; additional informant interviews with local professional and avocational archaeologists who have direct knowledge of the area; and additional field testing. Additional testing focused on the recovery of prehistoric artifacts and ecofacts within areas targeted for bridge pier construction. Information derived from the Phase II investigations include temporally diagnostic lithic and ceramic artifacts, additional specialized tools, differing lithic raw material types, cultural features, identifiable floral and faunal remains and datable charcoal. Six broad themes were investigated: chronology within a local and regional context; site structure and function; seasonality and subsistence; lithic resource procurement and reduction strategies; and ceramic description and identification within local and regional traditions.
Field testing consisted of the hand excavation of three 7meter x 7 meter units. These units reached a depth of 5 meters below surface. During the excavation, all potentially cultural soil anomalies were fully exposed, mapped and photographed in plan view. All cultural features were profiled and all dirt was screened. All stains that were determined to be cultural in origin were completely excavated and a 1.1 gallon flotation sample was extracted from each defined level within each feature.
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