Phase I and Phase II Archaeological Investigations at the JADOC Site, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, DC

Summary

The Louis Berger Group, Inc. (LBG) completed Phase I and II archaeological investigations at the site of the new JADOC facility on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C. LBG was asked to carry out this work after site preparation had already been under way for some time, and much earth-moving activity had already been carried out on the site. The site was previously the location of military housing and other buildings before that. Numerous utilities were present.

The JADOC site (project area) measures about 650 feet north-south and 400 feet east-west, bordered on the west and south by McGuire Avenue and about 200 feet east of the Potomac River. A construction fence surrounded the northern 500 feet at the time of survey, leaving part of the project area (about 150x350 feet) south of the fence. The purpose of the investigations was to determine if any archaeological sites are present in the project area and to evaluate their eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places.

The site had been investigated in February 2012 by geoarchaeologist Dr. Daniel Wagner. Dr. Wagner found that, despite the construction/demolition of the housing project and the other disturbances, largely intact A-horizon soils were present across much of the site. In the eastern, upslope area, these soils were at or near the surface, and to the west they were buried under up to 4 feet of fill. This area was considered to have high potential for prehistoric archaeological sites because of its proximity to the Potomac River and because nineteenth-century archaeologists had identified a prehistoric “village” site in this vicinity, now designated Site 51SW007.

When LBG reached the site, most of the topsoil had been graded away and stockpiled in the northeastern corner of the site. Examination of “islands” left around survey points showed that the depth of grading varied from 0.5 foot to 1.5 feet or more. In the center of the project area, where the new building will be constructed, a large, deep excavation had been made and mechanically backfilled, forming a “pad.” It was assumed that any archaeological resources within this pad area had been disturbed. LBG therefore focused on less disturbed areas, which wrapped around this pad in a “C” shape.

Phase I testing showed that little testable soil remained across most of the project area, and what remained contained few artifacts. Potentially significant archaeological deposits were found only in one area. This was along the west (river) side of the project area, south of the northern stormwater pond, where a buried topsoil was found under 1 to 3 feet of fill. In this topsoil were numerous prehistoric artifacts, including pottery and stone flakes, as well as historic artifacts dating to the nineteenth century. These deposits were defined as the Wright Circle Site (51SW022), and Phase II testing of the site was recommended.

Phase II testing of Site 51SW022 included the excavation of 18 3x3-foot test units and one 1.5x3-foot test unit. More than 4,000 prehistoric artifacts were recovered, mainly pottery and quartzite debitage. The quartzite seems to come from a Late Archaic occupation of the Savannah River culture. The pottery derives from later, Woodland occupations. More than 800 potsherds were recovered from a single large pit feature. The pit was radiocarbon dated to around 810 to 760 BC. This part of the site was considered to be eligible for listing in the National Register under Criterion D, and it is being protected by a redesign of the parking areas.

Cite this Record

Phase I and Phase II Archaeological Investigations at the JADOC Site, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, DC. John Bedell, Stuart Fiedel, Gregory Katz. Washington, D.C.: The Louis Berger Group, Inc. 2013 ( tDAR id: 392901) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8SF2X5G

Spatial Coverage

min long: -77.045; min lat: 38.811 ; max long: -76.98; max lat: 38.872 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory Federal Curator

Contributor(s): John Bedell; Stuart Fiedel; Gregory Katz

Sponsor(s): Navy

Repository(s): Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory

Prepared By(s): Louis Berger; Louis Berger

Submitted To(s): Sauer, Inc.

Record Identifiers

MAC Lab Accession Number(s): 2013.015

Notes

General Note: The following physical records are held at MAC Lab: Field Notes, Lab Notes, Maps, Artifact Catalog, Photologs, List of Documentation, acid-free copy of all paper records stored in the secondary records storage room.

General Note: Date Collected:MARCH-APRIL 2012

Redaction Note: This document has been redacted. To request access to a nonredacted copy, contact the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory.

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
4953_JADOC-PhI-II_Final_Apr2013.pdf 19.63mb May 15, 2014 1:12:48 PM Confidential
4953_JADOC-PhI-II_Final_Apr2013-1--REDACTED_Redacted.pdf 15.78mb Oct 1, 2014 11:00:51 AM Confidential
This document has been redacted. To request access to a nonredacted copy, contact the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory.

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Contact(s): Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory Federal Curator