New River Gorge National River Historical Archaeological Inventory

Grants and Contracts Details


Attachment J: Title: New River Gorge National River Historical Archeological Inventory Date of Proposal: June 17, 2005 Principal Investigator(s): Dr. George Crothers and Dr. Kim McBride Consulting Scientists: Dr. George M. Crothers, Dr. David Pollack, Dr. A. Gywnn Henderson, Dr. Nancy O'Malley, Dr. Kim A. McBride, Patrick Trader, Philip Bruce Mink, II Abstract: This study is being done to: (1) document the location, condition, and research potential of the New River Gorge National River's (NERI) historic archeological resources; (2) conduct limited exploratory archeological testing at representative historic sites; (3) create historic base maps and other documentation detailing these findings; and (4) support the broader park planning process including recommendations for developing or refining the historic contexts. The methodology for inventorying NERI's historic archeological resources will include the review and synthesis of information from literary sources and archeological fieldwork. The primary focus ofthis fieldwork will be to map and geo-reference the salient features of a cross-section of historic sites for historic base maps. Emphasis will also be placed on the exploratory archeological testing of historic sites like the lumbering town of Hamlet that are representative of the park's five historic contexts (see Workman et al. 2005; Unrau 1996). The significance of the park's historic resources will mainly be discussed from the perspectives of local and regional history, geography, and historical archeology. Discussions will use the concepts of household, community, and built landscapes to frame the issues that have been raised in the respective historic contexts. Historic maps and aerial photography will be used to reconstruct past environments and land use patterns in and around the gorge. Recommendations will broadly address future research and preservation issues facing the park. 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: NERI is located in Fayette, Raleigh, and Summers counties in southern West Virginia, and encompasses the lower New River and its tributaries. In West Virginia, the New River has cut a deep canyon within the Appalachian Plateaus physiographic province, and flows in a generally north-northwest direction joining with the Gauley River to form the Kanawha River at Gauley Bridge, West Virginia. The surface geology consists of sandstone, coal, and shale that date to the Pennsylvanian and Mississippian periods. Bottomland in the northern part of the park is generally narrower than it is south of Meadow Creek, West Virginia. Bottomland landforms include alluvial terraces, lowland benches, sloughs, and point bars. The upland topography consists of steep slopes and cliffs, benches, saddles, rock overhangs, ridge noses, 1
Effective start/end date7/29/059/1/07


  • Department of the Interior: $56,840.00


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