Archaeological Survey & Eligibility Evaluations

Archaeological Survey & Eligibility Evaluations

Location: Arkansas

Client: Dynegy Services Plum Point LLC

Completion Date: 2009

Burns & McDonnell archaeologists conducted site detection surveys, historic archival research, geoarchaeological investigations and National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) evaluations within an approximately 790-acre proposed electric power generation construction area. The proposed construction project and associated transmission line was located on a terrace of the Mississippi River in Mississippi County, Ark. The project was initiated by another company, but the client was dissatisfied with the work and hired Burns & McDonnell archaeologists to complete the cultural resources investigations.

The initial work was to finish the site detection or Phase I archaeological survey and work with a subcontractor to complete a historical architectural survey, and to produce the report of the investigations. This Phase I report included the combined information on the archaeological investigations and historic architectural survey. A total of 32 archaeological sites were recorded, including 30 historic, one prehistoric, and one with both prehistoric and historic components. The historic sites included remains of the San Souci plantation, and a series of farmsteads and sharecropper house locations, and a church dating from the mid-19th to mid-20th century.

The prehistoric site was Sherman Mound (3MS16), which dated to the Middle Mississippian period. The site containing both prehistoric and historic components (3MS451) included buried remains of a Late Woodland occupation and a Late Mississippian village. The historic component, a series of sharecropper house locations, was confined to the surface. In addition to the buried evidence of the village, numerous sand blows and other signs of earthquakes were identified.

The investigation found four sites and one historic structure eligible for inclusion in the NRHP. Two of the eligible sites (3MS638 and 3MS646) dated to the Antebellum/Civil War period. The eligible components of the other two sites were Mississippian in age, including the mound site and a buried village site (3MS451). The NRHP eligible structure was a house dating to the early 20th century.

  • Archival research
  • Site detection survey
  • Historical architectural survey
  • Site delineations
  • Geoarchaeological survey
  • Construction monitoring
  • Eligibility evaluations

The proposed construction area was a 790-acre tract in eastern Mississippi County, Ark. The eastern boundary of the tract was defined by the Mississippi River in northeastern Arkansas. Through consultation with the client and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Memphis District, design of the construction impacts for the electric generation plant and associated facilities avoided the sites, reducing the cost and time needed for mitigation of any damages to the sites or historic properties.

  • File search at Arkansas Archaeological Survey, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • File search at the Arkansas State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Little Rock, Ark.
  • Archival research of the local history, including trails and historic events in the area that may pertain to the aspects of the project
  • Site detection survey
  • Site delineation
  • Geoarchaeological survey
  • Historic architectural survey
  • Consultation with agencies and tribes
  • Historic artifact analysis
  • Prehistoric artifact analysis
  • NRHP site evaluation excavations
  • Preparation of reports describing the site detection and architectural surveys, construction monitoring, and the NRHP site evaluation