Shoreline Site Preservation by Dredge Spoil

Author(s): Judith Bense

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Case Studies from SHA’s Heritage at Risk Committee" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Shoreline erosion is a constant detrimental process at archaeological sites along waterways. Along many waterways, channel dredging is a necessary activity resulting in huge amounts of spoil placed along shorelines ,often where archaeological sites are located. In our research of four sequential Spanish colonial presidios from the early 18th century located on Pensacola and St. Joseph Bays in West Florida, dredge spoil placed along the shore of three of these presidios significantly halted erosion and preserved archaeological deposits associated with these communities. Contrariwise, the one presidio without dredge spoil, has been so eroded by storm surges that there is no stratigraphic integrity. An example of dredge spoil as site protection at Presidio Santa Rosa (1722-56) is presented.  I suggest a basic tactical process for investigating the benefits from, and suggesting the strategic use of, dredge spoil as part of a long-term management plan of archaeological sites along dynamic shorelines.

Cite this Record

Shoreline Site Preservation by Dredge Spoil. Judith Bense. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 448960)

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Geographic Keywords
United States of America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 223