Phase III Archaeological Data Recovery At The Chandler Site ( 40CH74), Pleasant View, Cheatham County, Tennessee


In August 1997, Brockington and Associates, Inc., conducted Phase III data recovery excavations of the northeast portion of the Chandler Site (40CH74) in Cheatham County, Tennessee. The site is located on a T1 terrace directly adjacent to Sycamore Creek, which empties into the Cumberland River. This data recovery was designed to ensure that no human burials would be impacted by the proposed construction of a raw water intake structure, access road, and parking lot on portions of the site. The data recovery was also conducted to mitigate the potential adverse effects of the aforementioned construction project on the archaeological resources at the site. Phase I and II testing had revealed potential intact cultural deposits and four possible burial mounds on the site, at least one of which contained stone box graves.

Initially, eight 2 by 1 meter hand excavation units were proposed and the entire project area (including the access road) was to be scraped and examined for features. All identified features were to be examined and excavated. A meeting on August 27, 1997, between the Principal Investigator, State Archaeologist Nick Fielder, Mr. James C. Hailey, and Mr. John Anthony representing the Pleasant View Utility District, led to modifications of the original scope of work. Specifically, it was determined that the access road which was originally reported as a T2 terrace, was actually a moderate to steep slope, and thus should not be stripped. Also, parts of the site not to be directly impacted by the proposed construction were to be avoided. Finally, two 2 by 1 meter hand excavation units which were to be excavated on the slope were determined to be unnecessary. As a result of the pre-field work meeting, a revised scope of work was developed and executed, as approved by the State Archaeologist. This scope of work included the hand excavation of six 2 by 1 meter units for recovery of an artifact sample adequate to characterize the artifact assemblage in this portion of the site. Also, representative profiles were examined to provide information on vertical and areal variability of intact deposits. These units were excavated within the T1 terrace area to be directly impacted by the construction of the water intake building and parking lot. This area was then stripped, and all features were mapped, photographed and excavated. No excavations or site stripping were conducted outside of the direct impact area or on the slope within the proposed access road.

Excavation units indicate that there are no intact artifact bearing strata in the area of direct impact of the proposed construction project. Rather, the topsoil has been almost completely depleted and/or eroded away, and the site has apparently been deflated, with artifacts being concentrated in the top portions of the plow zone. The stripping revealed a variety of subsurface disturbances, primarily from trees, roots, and previous land clearing activities. However, amid the numerous tree roots, 12 possible features were identified. These included various small to large amorphous soil stains. Excavations of these stains revealed that most were tree roots. Others were found to be dips in the humus layer, probably the result of land clearing activities. Two features 607 and 608, were found to be prehistoric in origin. These features were found relatively deep, approximately 30-40 cm below the original ground surface. The pits have been identified as earth ovens. Diagnostic artifacts found within the features indicate Middle and Late Woodland occupations in this portion of the site.

Only visual inspection and mapping were conducted on the four possible mounds, since they are located outside the area of direct impact from the proposed construction. Based on our observations, Mound A appears to be a legitimate prehistoric mound, possibly originating from the Woodland Period (based primarily on its shape). Intrusive Mississippian period stone box graves are visible on the mound surface. Although heavily looted, and disturbed by cattle, the mound still remains a significant cultural resource. This mound is over 100 meters to the west of the project area and will not be affected by the proposed construction project. Mounds B, C, and D are more difficult to interpret. According to information provided by the current land owner, these "mounds" are likely the results of land clearing activities performed during the early 1950s. Mound B is the closest of the three to the proposed impact area, and will be fenced off and protected during the construction phase of the project (Mr. John Anthony, personal communication). These actions should alleviate concerns of possible damage occurring to Mound B. Mounds C and Dare well outside of the potential impact area and will also not be affected by the proposed project.

No human remains or burials were located during the data recovery investigations. Since the entire area of potential impact contained within the T1 terrace was stripped and carefully examined, it is extremely unlikely that any human remains will be encountered during the construction phase of this project. Although the access road was not stripped, the fact that it runs down a fairly steep slope makes it very unlikely that intact prehistoric remains such as burials will be found.

Cite this Record

Phase III Archaeological Data Recovery At The Chandler Site ( 40CH74), Pleasant View, Cheatham County, Tennessee. Joseph A. Gilberti, Steven Bozarth, Andrea Shea. Brockington and Associates, Inc. 1998 ( tDAR id: 391036) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8Q2413G

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -87.2; min lat: 36.282 ; max long: -86.942; max lat: 36.481 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contributor(s): Steven Bozarth; Andrea Shea

Principal Investigator(s): Joseph A. Gilberti

Landowner(s): Pleasant View Utility District (Cheatham County, TN)

Sponsor(s): James C. Hailey & Company (Nashville, TN)

Record Identifiers

Brockington and Associates, Inc., report number(s): 0835


General Note: Curation facility: Erskine Ramsay Curation Facility, Moundville, AL

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