Cultural Resources Management Report, 2005-2006 NYSDOT Highway Program, PIN 9002.08/BIN 1-00981-0, NY12A Over Thomas Creek, Data Recovery of the Thomas Creek Site, SUBI-1546 / NYSM#10135

Author(s): Michael Carmody; Samuel Kudrle

Year: 2006


Data recovery of the Thomas Creek site to mitigate the adverse impacts to cultural resources within the proposed right of way, by the replacement of BIN 1 -00981-0 NY 12A over Thomas Creek and widening of NY 12A in the Town of Chenango.The total site area for the Thomas Creek site is 600 m 2 (19 80 ft2).

The Thomas Creek site is a stratified site with late Middle Woodland or very early Late Woodland cultural affiliations. Several other sites dating to these general time periods are located within the general vicinity of the Thomas Creek site. The few Middle Woodland and early Late Woodland sites in the region along the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers show no evidence for large aggregation sites, but reveal a variety of types: the Apalachin Creek Site (a temporary camp or resource processing area); the Port Dickinson Site (temporary fishing camp); the Broome Tech site (a seasonal camp site); the Chenango Point Site (a seasonal camp site); the Roberson Site (a temporary camp with a butchering area, a food preparation area, and a midden), the Cottage Site (a summer seasonal camp), as well as the White Site (a large base-camp). The Thomas Creek site, interpreted as a series of small camp sites, fits the model of small camp sites along the waterways within this region.

Archaeologists excavated 30 - 1 x 2 m (3.3 x 6.5 ft) units across the entire site. These units were oriented around three artifact clusters identified during the site examination, and along the perimeter of the site. In addition, the large gravel piles that covered the western portion of the site were removed by heavy machinery. Archaeologists excavated 10 STPs across the western portion of the site continuing the 5 m (16.4 ft) grid established during the reconnaissance testing. An additional 3 STPs were excavated across the south central portion of the site to test for artifact concentrations. In all, crews excavated 60 m2 (196.8 ft2) in 1 x 2 m units and 3.25 m2 (10.7 ft2) in STPs. The Thomas Creek site yielded 2,836 prehistoric artifacts including: 1012 chert flakes, 51 chunk/shatter, 1 core, 2 retouched pieces, 12 bifaces, 3 unifaces, 14 projectile points, 2 netweights, 4 pitted stones, 1 modified rock, 348 pottery sherds (346 clay and two steatite), and 1,386 fire cracked rocks. Two features were located during the data recovery: one pit and one area of oxidation/burning. A third “feature” was identified in unit 17, but appears to be a natural soil disturbance. Lithic raw material types are overwhelmingly Onondaga chert (n=1093), with two isolated fragments of yellow jasper.

Diagnostic artifacts and radiometric dating suggest late Middle Woodland or possibly very early Late Woodland occupations for the Thomas Creek site. Chronological associations are based on the recovery of one Levanna style projectile point from the A 4 horizon, Middle/Late Woodland pottery fragments, and one radiocarbon date for a charred seed from Feature 1. The relatively high quantity of pitted stones, as well as the location of the site on the margins of a wetlands, indicates a small foraging camp. The lack of evidence for permanent structures suggests a short term, probably seasonal, use for the site area.

Potential Impacts: The DOT work plan impacted the Thomas Creek site with widening of NY 12A and reconstruction of BIN 1-00981-0.

Cite this Record

Cultural Resources Management Report, 2005-2006 NYSDOT Highway Program, PIN 9002.08/BIN 1-00981-0, NY12A Over Thomas Creek, Data Recovery of the Thomas Creek Site, SUBI-1546 / NYSM#10135. Michael Carmody, Samuel Kudrle. Binghamton, NY: Public Archaeology Facility, Binghamton University. 2006 ( tDAR id: 394529) ; doi:10.6067/XCV89S1SBH

Temporal Coverage

Radiocarbon Date: 560 to 420 (2 sigma calibration. Associated with feature 1)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -75.93; min lat: 42.141 ; max long: -75.823; max lat: 42.184 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Nina Versaggi

Contributor(s): Nancy Asch-Sidell

Sponsor(s): New York State Department of Transportation; Federal Highway Administration

Prepared By(s): Public Archaeology Facility, Binghamton University

Submitted To(s): New York State Museum

Record Identifiers

PIN(s): 9002.08

BIN(s): 1-00981-0

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Contact(s): Nina Versaggi