Final Synthesis Report: Archaeological Investigations, Fort Dix Military Installation, Burlington and Ocean Counties, New Jersey

Author(s): Peter Pagoulatos

Year: 2005


In 2004, a planning level (Phase I) survey was completed at the Fort Dix Military Installation in Burlington and Ocean Counties, New Jersey. Since 1995, Fort Dix has undertaken a long-term investigation to identify, evaluate, prioritize, and manage archaeological resources at the installation.

A stratified research methodology was initially employed by placing standardized sampling units into zones of high and low sensitivity. Areas of high and low archaeological sensitivity consisted of testable areas within and beyond 500 feet of stream margins and wetlands, respectively. Subsequently, sampling units were randomly placed within these two zones of archaeological sensitivity, consisting of 500 foot to a side block units (5.74 acres); one-foot-diameter shovel tests were then placed at a 50-foot-interval grid within each block unit. Each block unit consisted of 121 shovel tests. A total of 250 blocks, or approximately 30,250 shovel tests were excavated; the total placement of blocks equaled 1,435 acres, or about a 10% sample of testable area across the installation.

The planning level survey resulted in the discovery of 88 new archaeological sites; also, 18 were revisited and evaluated from previous avocational investigations. In all, 106 archaeological loci have been documented at Fort Dix, consisting of 46 historic, 51 prehistoric, and 9 multicomponent (historic/prehistoric) site locations. Historic period sites consist of homesteads, taverns, hotels, saw and grist mills, bog iron furnaces, blacksmith/wheelwright shops, and schools, which date from the middle 18th to early 20th centuries; historic settlement patterns are oriented toward roads and streams. Prehistoric period sites consist of generalized camp sites (Bases) and specialized extractive stations (Targets) which span the entire prehistory of the region, dating from 11,500 to 350 years B.P. Prehistoric site distributions produce a dual, or two-level settlement system, where multiple activity base camps were situated on low divides, adjacent to large wetlands and streams, while more specialized loci tended to be found on upland divides and side slopes, further from water. Interestingly, over half of all prehistoric sites are positioned on southern exposures, possibly implying a fall/winter season(s) procurement pattern in this region.

It is recommended that 69 sites be considered as potentially eligible or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion D.

Cite this Record

Final Synthesis Report: Archaeological Investigations, Fort Dix Military Installation, Burlington and Ocean Counties, New Jersey. Peter Pagoulatos. 2005 ( tDAR id: 438583) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8438583

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -74.715; min lat: 39.973 ; max long: -74.43; max lat: 40.067 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Air Force Base

Principal Investigator(s): Peter Pagoulatos

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Contact(s): Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Air Force Base