Ossabaw Island: Archaeological Investigations at 9CH155: November 2008

Part of the Ossabaw Island project

Author(s): Daniel T. Elliott

Year: 2009


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

Spatial Coverage

min long: -81.205; min lat: 31.699 ; max long: -81.005; max lat: 31.873 ;

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
publication_128_wappendices.pdf 41.62mb Aug 9, 2011 10:28:33 AM Public