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": "LABORATORY PROCESSING "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 evaluation. "REPORTING "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. "PROJECT SCHEDULE "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.].... "Addendum to: ARCHEOLOGICAL TESTING AND REMOTE SENSING STUDY PLAN FOR FOSTER RANCH IMPACT SITE "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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