Researchers from the University of Notre Dame and Dartmouth College recently conducted non ground-disturbing prospection in preparation for this summer’s project at the Middle Grant Creek Site at the USDA Forest Service - Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.
The project will be from July 15 through Aug. 9.
Scientists worked with ground-penetrating radar, a magnetometer, and thermal and optical imaging to identify possible archaeological features forscientific evaluation.
Ground-penetrating radar images the ground below the surface to help identify archaeological features.
Jesse Casana and post-doctoral fellow Chad Hill, both of Dartmouth College, employed thermal imaging and an experimental robot-borne ground-penetrating radar as well as other tools.
Since 2016, professor Mark Schurr and Madeleine McLeester of the University of Notre Dame have been exploring the site under an Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) permit.
The Middle Grant Creek Site is an Oneota Culture (ca. A.D. 1150-1700) resource extraction and utilization site, dating to the Huber Phase (ca. A.D. 1600).
Phase II testing in 2006 determined that it was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
Volunteers with the Passport in Time programwork side-by-side Schurr and McLeester as they explore the site’s deep storage pits, which, so far, have yielded unique pottery, animal bones, a shell from Florida, projectile points, painted mussel shells, and more.
Those who will be involved in the project will receive hands-on experience with scientific site exploration and screening methods and recording the site information.