Archaeological / Historical Reconnaissance at Otter Creek Subdivision, New Hanover County, North Carolina

Author(s): Thomas C. Loftfield; Tucker Littleton

Year: 1982


On May 14 and 15, 1982 an archaeological reconnaissance was conducted at the Otter Creek subdivision located approximately two miles north of Carolina Beach in New Hanover County, North Carolina. One archaeological site was located in this reconnaissance. The boundaries of the site were defined and a determination was made that the site warrants at least additional testing to determine its research potential. The archaeological reconnaissance was conducted by Dr. Thomas Loftfield; historical research was conducted by Tucker Littleton. The area was apparently not surveyed by the 1978 CETA survey of New Hanover County and the

Archaeology Branch of the N. C. Division of Archives and history noted no known sites on the property. Personnel of the Blockade Runner Museum who are recognized authorities on the location of Civil War sites in the Carolina Beach/Federal Point area were contacted to determine the possibility of Civil War occupations of the property. These consultation suggested that there was very little likelihood of any such occupation on this property.

The reconnaissance methodology consisted of placing subsurface tests every 75 feet along survey corridors which had been cut through the land on SO foot intervals (the survey corridors were done by the owners prior to the archaeological reconnaissance). Tests 1,·ere approximately 1 ft. by l ft. and excavated to a depth of which reached subsoil or water, whichever came first. All fill was sifted through l/4 inch mesh hardware cloth. to open ground was available for survey except a narrow strip along Otter Branch (or Otter Drain) where an erosion profile was visible.

One archaeological site was located. The site consisted of a shell midden with aboriginal potsherds. The site is located on the north edge of the property and is essentially defined by the seven foot contour line. The shell mantle appears to be relatively undisturbed and to be approximately 10 centimeters deep. Under the shell mantle lies a thin layer of black sandy loam. Beneath this layer is a greyish to greyish/white subsoil, also of sand. No artifacts were encountered in any layer other than the shell mantle. No subsurface features were located i n the reconnaissance testing, but the apparently undisturbed nature of the deposit suggests the possibility that such features may exist .

Five aboriginal potsherds were recovered. No definite type can be assigned as the sherds were too small for accurate typing. The site probably represents a seasonal shell fish gathering station and is not the product of a long term occupation. Based upon the rather scanty archaeological work done to date in the area and on the apparently well preserved nature of the site it is the opinion of this investigator that the site numbered Otter Creek 1 should be subjected to additional intensive testing to determine its potential eligibility to the national Register of Historic Places.

Cite this Record

Archaeological / Historical Reconnaissance at Otter Creek Subdivision, New Hanover County, North Carolina. Thomas C. Loftfield, Tucker Littleton. Wilmington, NC: University of North Carolina. 1982 ( tDAR id: 198028) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8VQ33W8

Spatial Coverage

min long: -78.03; min lat: 33.787 ; max long: -77.675; max lat: 34.389 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): North Carolina Office of State Archaeology

Prepared By(s): University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Submitted To(s): L & O Investments, Fayetteville, N.C

Record Identifiers

NADB document id number(s): 425651

NADB citation id number(s): 000000063615


General Note: The information in this record has been migrated into tDAR from the National Archaeological Database Reports Module (NADB-R) and updated. The attached digital file was scanned from a copy at the Research Laboratories of Archaeology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was uploaded to tDAR with support from the North Carolina Archaeological Council, and is managed by the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology. Please contact the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology (contact below) for access to this digital file.

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Contact(s): North Carolina Office of State Archaeology