Archaeological Subsurface Surveys of Potential Mortuary Areas and Select Parcels on the Fort Lee Military Reservation, Prince George County, Virginia

Summary

This investigation addressed three parcels, broken into four project areas to determine the potential for unmarked subsurface archaeological features with a particular emphasis on identifying unmarked graves. Area 1, located on the periphery of U.S. Army Fort Lee Military Reservation in eastern Virginia, was adjacent to an unmarked cemetery (Laboring Sisters of the Vineyard, 44PG0543) on property currently owned by Prince George County. Areas 2A, 2B and 3 were on parcels in the immediately vicinity of the Davis house, a prominent historical structure inside Fort Lee. Historical research indicated that Areas 2A and 2B used to contain the Susannah Russell Cemetery, a small family burial ground that was relocated in the 1950s or 1960s. Area 3 was suspected to contain nineteenth-century deposits that were part of the Davis house living area. Surface reconnaissance of all project areas revealed no visible unmarked graves or archaeological features. Soil compaction investigations of the Area 1 site found no evidence of graves or other archeological subsurface soil anomalies.

The geophysical survey successfully identified at least 95 anomalies in the three separate grids. The vast majority of these anomalies in all three grids were utilities. In Area 2A, approximately 13 unique targets were interpreted as possible burials or disinterred graves. In Area 3, a possible structure dating to an unknown time period was identified. No possible burials or archaeological features were identified in Area 2B.

Archaeological monitoring was recommended for roundabout construction plans that may be on the Area 1 parcel and along the margin of the Laboring Sisters Cemetery. Archaeological verification that all human and mortuary remains from the Susannah Russell Cemetery were removed during the initial relocation is strongly encouraged. Monitoring or pre-construction testing is recommended at both Grids 2A and 3.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Subsurface Surveys of Potential Mortuary Areas and Select Parcels on the Fort Lee Military Reservation, Prince George County, Virginia. New South Associates, Inc.. 2011 ( tDAR id: 392673) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8SX6F7B

Spatial Coverage

min long: -77.377; min lat: 37.215 ; max long: -77.289; max lat: 37.278 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Patty Conte

Contributor(s): Hugh B. Matternes; Sarah Lowry; David Price; Bryce Stanley; Amy Wood; Yulounda Ralls; Gena Mims; Jennifer Wilson; Rebecca Brown; Tracey Fedor; Valerie Davis

Principal Investigator(s): Shawn Patch; Hugh B. Matternes

Project Director(s): J. W. Joseph

Prepared By(s): New South Associates

Submitted To(s): Versar, Inc.; U. S. Army, Fort Lee Military Reservation, Department of Public Works

Record Identifiers

Accession Number (s): FL2011.018

Purchase Order Number(s): 007657

Primary Contract Number(s): W91236-10-F-0171

File Information

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Contact(s): Patty Conte