Gauley River National Recreation Area Historic and Prehistoric Archaelogical Study

Grants and Contracts Details


" Attachment I: Title: Gauley River National Recreation Area Historic and Prehistoric Archeological Study Date of Proposal: May 20, 2005 Principal Investigator(s): Dr. George Crothers and Dr. Kim McBride Consulting Scientists: Dr. David Pollack, Dr. A. Gywnn Henderson, Dr. Nancy O'Malley, Dr. Kim A. McBride, Patrick Trader, Philip Bruce Mink, II Abstract: This study will be done in the Gauley River National Recreation Area (GARI) and is designed to: (1) document its overall historic archeological resources; (2) identify prehistoric sites in selected upland areas; (3) create historic base maps detailing these findings; and (4) support the broader park planning process including recommendations on the subsequent development of different historic contexts. The methodology for documenting GARI's historic archeological resources will include the review and synthesis of information from literary sources and archeological fieldwork. The primary focus of this fieldwork will be to map and geo-reference where possible the salient features of different historic "sites." Archeological investigation will also be performed in selected upland locations to identify prehistoric sites following the recommendations of the GAR! Archeological Overview and Assessment (Burdin 2004). The study will fulfill the requirements of the Secretary of the Interior's "Standards for Preservation Planning" included in the "Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation", and ensure compliance with NEPA and the National Park Service's (NPS) Cultural Resources Management Guideline (Director's Order [DO]-28). Background: GAR! is located in Fayette and Nicholas counties in southern West Virginia, and encompasses meandering sections of the Gauley and Meadow Rivers. The Gauley River is downcut into a deep narrow canyon within the Appalachian Plateaus physiographic province, and flows in a generally west-southwest direction joining with the New River to form the Kanawha River at Gauley Bridge, West Virginia. The surface geology of the area consists of sandstone, coal, and shales that are part of the Pennsylvanian-era Kanawha Formation. The upland topography on either side of the park is dominated by ridge crests, steep slopes, upland benches, and short tributary streams. Landforms in the low-lying areas along the Gauley River include benches and small alluvial point bars. Except for a few places such as the Peters Creek bottom, terrace development is fairly weak due to active scouring of the lowlands. In 2004 the Kentucky Archaeological Survey completed a report detailing its archeological reconnaissance ofGARI's prehistoric archeological resources (Burdin 2004). The report contains baseline information and planning recommendations that concentrate on potential prehistoric sites on landforms along the river. The findings confirm the results of archeological studies that have identified thousands of archeological sites in the region dating to between ca. 13,000-350 BP (before present)(McMichaeI1965; Fuerst 1981; Pollack and Crothers 2004). Most of these sites reflect a hunting and gathering adaptation that was supplemented in later periods by the harvesting of domesticated indigenous crops. Many of the rockshelters and other landforms that are associated with this adaptation are present in the park. Around AD 1000,
Effective start/end date7/29/059/30/07


  • Department of the Interior: $43,000.00


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