Locating and mapping unmarked burials - Washington Monumental Cemetery, South River, NJ
A high-resolution ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey was undertaken at this cemetery to test a local tradition that victims of the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic were buried here. Despite this section of the historic cemetery containing very few grave markers, the GPR survey revealed almost 400 burials arranged in rows. The image to the right shows many of these burials as dark anomalies caused by buried voids and soil disturbances. The few grave markers present are shown as red crosses.
It will be necessary to conduct further research to determine whether these are indeed influenza victims from 1918-19, although various lines of evidence suggest that this is the case. These results will also help the community decide how best to mark and commemorate these individuals.
This work was done in partnership with the South River Historical and Preservation Society, and Washington Monumental Cemetery with funding by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey Historical Commission, Department of State.
Mapping an 11th century village - Washausen Site (11MO305), Monroe County, Illinois
An 8 hectare (20 acre) high-resolution magnetometer survey of the Washausen site has provided a near-complete map of this 11th century mound center in the American Bottom. In addition to one of the square platform mounds and the relatively 'clean' central plaza, the results clearly reveal the arrangement of numerous house basins, visible due to the enhanced magnetic soils of their fills. As observed through excavation at other sites, many of these basins are seen to be clustered around small courtyards. Variations in the size, shape, orientation, and location of these structures may indicate differences in function or social or political differences across the site. These results have been used to define new research questions about the site, and to help locate excavation units.
Revealing structural details - Morton Village Site, Fulton County, Illinois
Magnetometer and GPR surveys have been undertaken at this Mississippian and Oneota village site since 2010. Around the periphery of the settlement, wall trench structures and house basins are randomly oriented and loosely clustered into groups with associated pits.
Despite disturbance relating to a 20th century farm close to the center of the site, the core of the Native American village is characterized by rows of closely packed basin structures with similar orientations. Modern ferrous disturbances reduce the effectiveness of magnetometry in this area, and so a high-resolution GPR survey was undertaken to obtain a clearer picture of houses and basins in this area. A 200 MHz antenna was used to collect data along traverses spaced 0.2m apart. This allows small features such as narrow trenches to be distinguished, providing significantly more detail than the magnetometer survey. It is even possible to identify one basin structure that cuts into an earlier basin (top center).
This work has been undertaken by HAP for the Dickson Mounds Museum and Michigan State University.