River Terrace Elementary School Archaeological Presentation

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Information about River Terrace Elementary School Archaeological Presentation
News & Politics

Published on February 26, 2014

Author: dgscomm

Source: slideshare.net

Archaeology In the District Archaeology • Use of material culture to: • Give voice to the voiceless • Act as a check on documents/stories • Study broader social trends Artifact • Any man-made or modified object that is more than 50 years old Site • Continuous distribution of artifacts (by definition 50 years old or more)

Archaeology at River Terrace School OVERVIEW • • • • • City Archaeologist Dr. Ruth Trocolli of DC HPO requests archaeology be conducted at River Terrace School Stantec and EHT Traceries, Inc. conducted archaeological investigations from January 2nd through February 18th Found over 3500 artifacts Most are Native American A few date to the late 18th to early 19th century (ca. 1775 to 1825) CURRENT STATUS • Field investigations complete but need to monitor courtyard during construction-construction can proceed outside the building at any time • Artifact analysis ongoing • Report preparation ongoing • Anticipate draft report being completed end of March 2014

Why Do Archaeology? Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act of 1978 (D.C. Law 2-144, as amended) direct the Mayor, heads of subordinate agencies, or heads of independent agencies with jurisdiction over an undertaking to take into account the effect of that undertaking on properties listed or eligible for listing in the District of Columbia Inventory of Historic Sites. DC City Archaeologist Dr. Ruth Trocolli requests archaeology based on: • Smithsonian collected Native American artifacts from the property 60 to 80 years ago • Dr. Trocolli collected artifacts during installation of storm sewer in 2011

2014 Investigations • • • • • Determined that about 2 feet of fill is present over the now-buried land surface Used excavator to remove fill Hand-excavated 24 shovel test pits and 16 3-x-3 foot square test units Excavated by 5-inch levels Soil screened to find artifacts

N Areas of Excavation • School Addition • Parking Lots • Trails MT 6 MT 5 MT 12 BLK 5 BLK 1 3 5 7 4 2 1 MT 2 6 BLK 3 BLK 6 12 15 MT 3 BLK 2 10 9 14 11 8 13 BLK 4 MT 4 MT 1 MT 7 16 MT 10 MT 11 (and expansion) Existing School Building MT 8 MT 9 meters 34th St. NE Proposed Addition Proposed Path Proposed Parking Lot Machine Trench (MT #) Proposed Playground Positive Shovel Test Pit Location 0 5 10 15 20 25 Additional Machine-Excavated Blocks (BLK #) Test Unit Location (#)

Test Units Shovel test pit

What we found Native American village or camp Over 3500 artifacts Native American artifacts indicate location was occupied twice: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5000 to 3000 years ago 1200 to 500 years ago Projectile points Knives Scrapers Pottery Cobbles used to make stone tools Waste debris from stone tool making Fire-cracked rock from fire pits and hearths Grinding stones Raw material from: • • Anacostia River flats Rhyolite from northern Maryland/southern Pennsylvania

Knives Pottery ca. 3000 years old

Last Thoughts • • • • • • • • Many Native American sites along Anacostia and Potomac Rivers Home to the Piscataway Indians in early 1600s Large town, Nacochtank, somewhere along Anacostia River Site is unique as many have been destroyed by urbanization Artifacts preserved and owned by District of Columbia Incorporate information into signs Artifacts available to view Thank You! Questions?

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