Center For Transportation Research


Hancock County

Projects undertaken in Hancock County.

Phase II Archaeological Testing of Sites 40HK5, 40HK6, and 40HK7, Additional Phase II Testing of Sites 40HK5 and 40HK6, and Archaeological Investigations at 40HK9, A Historic Cemetery, State Route 31 Corridor from Mountain Valley Road to North of Cantwell Valley Road


From November 22, 1995 to July 17, 1996, archaeologists from the Transportation Center at The University of Tennessee-Knoxville conducted Phase II archaeological testing of three sites (40HK5, 40HK6, and 40HK7), additional Phase II testing of two of these sites (40HK5 and 40HK6), and archaeological investigation of a historic cemetery site (40HK9) in Hancock County, Tennessee. This work was undertaken for Neel-Schaffer, Inc. (Neel-Schaffer Project Number 2-2558-04) and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (Tennessee Department of Transportation Project Number 34008-1218-04). Tennessee Division of Archaeology permit numbers for this project are 000222 and 000222R in conjunction with the proposed improvements to State Route 31 from Mountain Valley Road to north of Cantwell Valley Road in Hancock County, Tennessee.

Phase II testing and additional Phase II testing of the Flat Gap site (40HK5) included a controlled surface collection, hand excavation of two 1 m x 1 m test units, machine excavation of three 2 m wide transects, and machine excavation of a block area. Fourteen prehistoric pit features were found in the portion of the site in and adjacent to the proposed right-of-way. Artifacts from feature context indicate a Late Archaic habitation site. Additional archaeological investigations are not recommended for this site.

Phase II testing and additional Phase II testing of the Wilder site (40HK6) included a controlled surface collection, hand excavation of two 1 m x 1 m test units, machine excavation of two 2 m wide transects, and machine excavation of a block area. Thirteen prehistoric pit features, six postholes, and a subplowzone soil horizon containing cultural material were found in the portion of the site in the proposed right-of-way. A total of 275 check stamped and plain limestone tempered pottery sherds and 13 projectile point/knives (PPKs) was recovered from feature context. Additional archaeological investigations are not recommended for this site.

Phase II testing of the Johns site (40HK7) included a controlled surface collection, hand excavation of two 1 m x 1 m test units, and machine excavation of eleven 2 m wide transects. The Johns site is a multicomponent habitation area. Natural and culturally modified lithic material covered the entire investigated area of 40HK7. Two limestone tempered pottery sherds and many whole and broken PPKs were recovered from 40HK7 but no subsurface cultural deposits were identified. Additional archaeological investigations are not recommended for this site.

Archaeological investigations were conducted at the historic Cool Branch Cemetery site (40HK9). A minimum of 28 graves are mostly defined by unmarked limestone slab head and/or footstones. Archaeological investigation of the Cool Branch Cemetery (40HK9) included clearing the site of small trees and brush, contour and plan view mapping of the entire cemetery, machine excavation of the portion of the site within the right-of-way, and hand excavation of five burials which were identified within the right-of-way.

Hancock County Page Contents:
Continue in Hancock County Page

Introduction
Environmental Setting
Soil Geomorphology
Prehistoric and Historic Background
Procedures
The Flat Gap Site (40HK5)
The Wilder Site (40HK6)
The Johns Site (40HK7)
The Cool Branch Cemetery (40HK9)
Southern Appalachian Burial Customs References Cited

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This page was last updated on 20 Jan 2002.

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