With the execution of a Cultural Resource Investigation work authorization (#6-86/87) under contract #85-1115 (MOOS EA-00096), on 23 Jan 87 between the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Department of State, and Western Michigan University, calling for a Phase I archaeological survey and reconnaissance survey of above-ground resources along a 12.1 km (7.5 mi) stretch of US-12 between US-127 and M-50 in Woodstock and Cambridge townships, Lenawee County, Michigan, the University undertook the following:
- established an agreement with Crumlish/Sporleder and Associates, Inc. of South Bend, Indiana whereby this architectural firm would undertake the survey of above-ground resources in the zone of impact; and
- instructed a team of archaeological researchers in the Department of Anthropology to initiate the appropriate background research and perform a systematic and intensive on-site survey of the project.
Part I of this report details the archaeological research undertaken on this occasion. Employing a combination of reconnaissance and shovel testing procedures, the field team, consisting of four experienced advanced degree and current graduate student personnel, carefully examined land flanking either side of US-12 for a distance of 45 m from centerline. Although several parcels bordering the highway in private ownership could not be evaluated due to denial of access by current landowners, coverage of the 109 ha study area was quite thorough. In addition, interviews with cooperative area residents, together with a literature, documents, and site file search, provided information useful in assessing the potential impact of proposed construction activities on archaeological resources occurring here.
Of the nine archaeological sites recorded by the survey team, only one was found through application of shovel testing procedures. The remaining eight sites represent surface observations of cultural material in plowed fields flanking the highway. In all but two instances, these sites represent no more than isolated occurrences of chert flakes without artifacts and/or fire-cracked rock in association. Intensive shovel testing about the loci of these finds failed to produce evidence of site integrity, i.e. cultural features or possible midden deposits occurring beneath the disturbed zone. In the cases of 20LE282 and 283, chert flakes were relatively more numerous and light scatters of FCR were noted in the general area. Unfortunately, both sites have been determined to lie just outside the limits of the MOOT project. Parenthetically, 20LE283 may be the same as previously recorded sites 20LE39 and 40; however, the provenience for these sites is such as to warrant our assignment of a new site number to 20LE283.
In the final analysis, the data available to us from this seemingly rich archaeological zone of rolling hills flanked by numerous lakes, streams, and their adjacent wetlands strongly suggest that the likelihood of construction impacts on potentially significant archaeological resources in the MOOT project area is exceedingly remote.
Part II documents the activity of architectural historians with the firm of Crumlish/Sporleder. Their study surveyed and listed all structures in the study area, historical and nonhistorical, and identified 47 sites with structures or elements which fall within the defined historical limits of 1810-1946. These sites were photo documented and carded. The Cambridge Historical Park was not surveyed. Of the 47 identified historical sites, two are potentially eligible to be nominated to the National Register, six to receive more study to determine potential eligibility for nomination to the National Register or State Register, and seven have been identified as possibly warranting further examination to record and document elements significant to the understanding of regional Michigan history.