Archeological Survey at Fort Stanwix National Monument Informs Preservation Management
During the summer of 2011, the Division of Cultural Resources at Fort Stanwix National Monument began a long-term archeological resource study to determine the best procedures for preserving the park's buried cultural resources. The initial field season included a systematic archeological survey of the west lawn area of the park. Six volunteers provided over 500 volunteer hours between May 25th and August 7th during which shovel test pits were excavated. The Divison of Cultural Resources at FOST partnered with the Public Works Cultural Resources Division of Fort Drum Army Base in Watertown, NY in order to use ground penetrating radar to detect cultural anomalies below the ground surface.
The survey was designed to assess the current condition of buried cultural resources, determine what impacts surface activities may have on these resources, and gather information in order to make more informed decisions regarding preservation management at the park. Keith Routley, Chief of the Division of Cultural Resources at the park stated "Using ground penetrating radar and identifying preservation needs will help the park meet compliance requirements, saving time and resources in the future."
Approximately 500 artifacts were discovered, including a few 18th century ceramic sherds and possible wine bottle fragments, and several 19th century ceramics, pharmaceutical glass, and kaolin pipe stems. These artifacts have been cleaned, analyzed and added to the museum collection at Fort Stanwix National Monument.
"We learned a lot about the integrity of the site," said Amy Roache-Fedchenko, Museum Specialist and the project archeologist. "One of the benefits of doing this type of archeological investigation is that it provides more information on how we can better preserve what we have."
Further investigations will continue this summer with more ground penetrating radar surveys in other areas of the park.