Ossabaw Island: Archaeological Investigations at 9CH155: November 2008
This report documents emergency archaeological data recovery and survey efforts
performed in late 2008 at site 9CH155 on Ossabaw Island, Chatham County, Georgia.
The project included salvage excavation of an eroding human mortuary feature (Burial
1), Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey of selected portions of the site, topographic
mapping, and a minor surface collection from a rarely exposed mud flat in Newell Creek.
Each of these phases was completed successfully and provided new information about the
site that should prove helpful in its future management. Burial 1 was determined to be an
Early Irene phase (ca. A.D.1340, or Late Mississippian) cremation pit, or crematorium.
The basal sections of this pit contained a small amount of human bone but most skeletal
remains appear to have been removed for burial elsewhere. The surrounding soils
contained midden with a variety of Late Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian, and Historic
period (late 18th and early 19th century) artifacts. The GPR Survey focused on the areas
along the bluff that are threatened by erosion and approximately 60 percent of the bluff
that fronts the site on its western margin was surveyed. A section of the sites interior was
also sampled by GPR survey. The GPR survey revealed many potential cultural features
and other enigmatic radar anomalies. The radar reflections were ranked 1-5 by their
priority of need for investigation and/or cultural management, with Priority 5 being the
most urgent. Thirty-one Priority 5 radar anomalies were mapped and their locations
tabulated. The topographic mapping of the site was limited and intended to provide
enough mapping data for the proper location of the test unit surrounding Burial 1 and the
GPR survey blocks. The surface collection of the mud flat was an opportunistic
modification of the project plan. All ceramics and a representative sample of other
artifact types were collected from the exposed mud flat. This small sample yielded
important information about the mid-19th century plantation occupation.
Cite this Record
Ossabaw Island: Archaeological Investigations at 9CH155: November 2008. Daniel T. Elliott. 2009 ( tDAR id: 366082) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8CZ365F
min long: -81.205; min lat: 31.699 ; max long: -81.005; max lat: 31.873 ;
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