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114. Geophysical investigations of proposed interpretative garden at the second fort smith site, fort smith national historic site (3SB79), sebastian county, arkansas.
DeVore, Steven L.
During July 16 to 19, 2007, the Midwest Archeological Center and Fort Smith National Historic Site staffs conducted geophysical investigations at the second Fort Smith site within the Fort Smith National Historic Site (3SB79) in the City of Fort Smith in Sebastian County, Arkansas. The project was conducted in response to the park’s request for the non-destructive and non-invasive investigations of a triangular area between the Officers Quarters location and the modern railroad tracks in response to a proposed plan to construct interpretative heirloom garden plots and place some fruit trees behind the concrete slabs marking the locations of the two Officers Quarters. The project location coincided with the backyards of the Officers Quarters on the west side of the second Fort Smith enclosure. During the investigations, 1,140 square meters or 0.28 acres were surveyed with a fluxgate gradiometer, a resistance meter and twin probe array, a ground-penetrating radar cart system and 400 mHz antenna, and an electromagnetic induction meter in the conductivity mode. The magnetic gradient, resistance, and ground conductivity data collected at the cemetery site provided information of the physical properties (magnetic, resistance, conductance, and ground-penetrating radar reflections) of the subsurface materials. Several small scale magnetic gradient, conductivity, resistance, and ground-penetrating radar anomalies were identified. A series of linear magnetic, resistance, conductivity and ground-penetrating radar anomalies appear to represent the remnants of the Coca-Cola security fence, the garage, rubble from the second Fort Smith, and buried utility lines. Based on the evaluation of the geophysical anomalies, the majority of the anomalies appear to be associated with the 20th century Coca-Cola bottling plant, especially the garage. Due to the high impact of the construction and demolition of the Coca-Cola bottling works, this portion of the Fort Smith National Historic Site (3SB79) apparently lacks intact historic features associated with the second Fort Smith site. It is still possible that historic features associated with the prehistoric or fort period may exist at a depth beyond the range of the ability of the geophysical instruments to detect. Since the plans for the interpretative heirloom gardens call for the use of raised garden plots, there is no further need for archeological investigations of the project area in the proposed garden plot locations.