With the execution of a Cultural Resource Investigation work authorization (#5-86/87) under contract #85-1115 (MODS ER #1594) between the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Department of State, and Western Michigan University, calling For Phase II archaeological excavation of that portion of the Stork site (20CS45) lying within the expanded right-of-way on the north side of US-12 in Section 1 of Porter Township, Cass County, Michigan, researchers from the Department of Anthropology began a literature, documents, and site file search, reviewed reports of previous work on the site, and undertook limited test excavations on 1-2 Nov 86 in order to determine whether this site was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
On-site investigation commenced with surface collection and shovel testing at intervals of 5 m along transects in an area comprising 720 m2 of a ridge remnant overlooking a small intermittent stream passing by it on the east. According to the Phase I survey report (Garland 1980), this was the general location of the Finds leading to the recording of this site with the state, but due to denial of access on the part of the landowner in 1981 this portion of the site was nat examined during the original Phase II testing of the site (Myers 1981). Hence, the reason For WMU having undertaken this study.
With surface collection and shovel testing proving inconclusive, the field team concentrated on the excavation of a systematic aligned and judgement sample of 17 1 X 1 m test squares laid out across the crest of the ridge. While the plow zone did produce prehistoric lithic debris and three subsurface features (pits) providing some undisturbed cultural context were delineated, the results of our testing program shed little new light on the prehistoric occupation(s) of this site. The Stork site, as Myers (1981: 21) has suggested, would appear to represent a temporary special purpose encampment.
Considering all information now available to us, this site, while providing minimal evidence For a Paleo-India~ occupation, is in all probability an Archaic campsite. And from the perspective of the botanical remains From the features, it would seem that autumn occupation represents the best estimate of seasonality that can be derived from the scanty indicatorS in the data set. This interpretation is most consistent with the exposed nature of the site, the lack of evidence for the presence of substantial structures, and the natural or wild food potentials provided by resource zones that presumably comprised the immediate site environs.
In the final analysis, it seems most appropriate to conclude that this site hosted a prehistoric community that was in the main a seasonal and task specific one--a community characterized by intermittent and extensive rather than long term and intensive occupation. As such, it probably reflects a pattern very much in evidence at other sites in the general area. From this perspective, there is nothing that suggests that 20CS45 warrants additional study or inclusion in the National Register.