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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 21

NMU Archeological Plan Foster Ranch Project

From: Larry W. Bryant <overtci.nul>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 01:40:20 -0500
Archived: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 07:47:58 -0500
Subject: NMU Archeological Plan Foster Ranch Project

== Let the Bidding Begin! ==

A further electronic interim NMU reply (Nov. 19, 2002) to my
open-records request of Nov. 12, 2002, offers the following
glimpse at the organization/execution of the "Roswell dig" --
 i.e., an excerpt from their "Archeological Testing Plan for
Foster Ranch Project":


"Artifacts and sediment samples will be transported to the
laboratory at OCA [Office of Contract Archeology]. Sediment
samples will be left sealed and curated in a locked cabinet,
while Native American artifacts will be processed using standard
OCA methods that included checking against the FS catalog,
cleaning with water, and rebagging and labeling. All collected
Native American artifacts will be briefly described and
photographed and/or drawn if their nature warrants. As noted
above, it is presumed that any suspected non-terrestrial
materials will be transported to an appropriate laboratory (to
be determined by consultation between BLM [U.S. Bureau of Land
Management] and the project's sponsors) for scientific


"Following the fieldwork and laboratory-processing components of
the project, a detailed report will be prepared that describes
the project and its results, including field and laboratory
methods, locations of EMC survey transects and archeological
test excavation units, the results of all excavations (artifacts
recovered, the nature of excavated deposits and any subsurface
features encountered), and the results of laboratory analyses.
The report will include reviews of the project area environment,
prehistory and history, and will be accompanied by illustrative
photographs and graphics. Graphics will include a master site
map prepared from field-collected transit data that depict the
locations of all remote sensing studies and archeological test
units as well as other relevant site features. Although a
separate report on the results of the remote sensing studies
will be prepared by Dave Hyndman of Sunbelt Geophysics,
important remote sensing study results will be included on the
archeological report map.


"The fieldwork phase of the project will consist of three
separate activities: (1) Establishment of a cartesian grid
system and control point, (2) a two-stage electromagnetic
conductivity (EMC) survey of the ground within the hypothesized
impact zone and debris field, and (3) excavation of
archeological test units in selected locations for the purposes
of (a) investigating subsurface anomalies revealed by the EMC
survey, or (b) examining subsurface deposits for the presence of
non-terrestrial materials.

"The tentative project start date is Tuesday, Sept. 17, and the
fieldwork is slated to continue for at least 8 days, through
Tuesday, Sept. 24. OCA staff will be on site on Monday, Sept.
16, however, to consult with the technical advisors for the
purposes of determining the exact location of the targeted study
area. Arrangements have been made to continue the project on a
daily basis, should discoveries warrant it. The planned project
schedule is as follows [truncated by L.W.B.]....


"Two changes were made to the field methods proposed in the
original testing plan for the Foster Ranch project. These
changes were approved by Roswell Field Office personnel.

"1. 10-cm excavation levels were used instead of the originally
proposed 5-cm levels. This modification was made in order to
reduce paperwork and time required for each test unit, and
occasioned by the fact that only six volunteer excavators were
available, versus the 12 originally stipulated. The concomitant
reduction in vertical provenience accuracy was not expected to
have any substantial effect on the validity of project results.

"2. The use of backhoe trenches to search for furrow evidence
and to investigate anomalies revealed by the electromagnetic
conductivity or metal detection surveys was implemented to
increase the chances of discovery and to allow investigation of
depths greater than those possible in 50x500-cm test pits.

"3.  All soil samples and non-natural materials recovered in the
course of the test excavations were transferred to a locked
security van at the end of each day. At the end of the project,
the materials were transferred to a lock box at the Wells Fargo
Bank in Roswell."

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