Topic ID #31405 - posted 2/24/2014 3:53 AM

Volunteer opportunity: Exploring Central Louisiana's Prehistory at Site 16WN542, Kisatchie NF



Jennifer Palmer

Webmaster
Louisiana
Kisatchie NF
New! Exploring Central Louisiana's Prehistory at Site 16WN542

LA-4181
April 25-May 3, 2014 (including weekends)

Must commit to minimum of 5 days

Join us this spring among the beautiful mixed pines and deciduous hardwoods of the Kisatchie National Forest for another exploration of Louisiana's prehistory! "Site 16WN542" is situated on a ridge within a series of small knolls just south of Dry Creek, where the creek flows into the Dudgdemona River. The site overlooks the resultant floodplain to the northeast, and would have been an ideal vantage point for its past occupants to view game, gather wild plants, have abundant access to water, and use the natural riverine landforms as easily navigable pathways to resources, and perhaps other groups, that were at a distance.

The site was first officially documented in 2004, but was noted to have already been disturbed by past, unauthorized excavations and pillaging; deflation had begun to occur atop the ridge. Artifacts recovered during the 2004 recording included 161 artifacts, including stone tool manufacturing debris (flakes, cores, etc.), and both decorated and plain pottery sherds. Some of the more diagnostic cultural materials and preliminary testing suggested dates that are, in largest part, consistent with the Late Woodland cultural period (ca. A.D. 500 - 1000). However, due to the presence of an additional handful of seemingly "temporally disjointed" artifacts, the site may be multicomponent, and may actually encompass the whole of the Woodland Period (ca. 1000 B.C. - A.D. 1000). In 2012, additional testing was done to assess the site's comprehensive artifact density and to determine its spatial and temporal boundaries. Deep soils and high artifact densities were recorded - it seems there may be much more that the site can teach us about this area's cultural past. So, we are putting out the call to dedicated PIT volunteers who would like to join FS staff as we further document and work to protect the site and the important information it can reveal to us!

Participants will excavate and restore the landscape at Site 16WN542. As we collect and process the cultural materials recovered, we will also photograph, map, and fully document findings using modern forms and recording techniques. There will be an archaeological field laboratory run in tandem with the excavation. In the lab, volunteers will help process and analyze artifacts as they are recovered. We will also document all previous vandalism and site damage, and backfill and stabilize these areas as necessary. Our project will shed light on the cultural past at the site, and will help establish eligibility for placement on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), which will allow us to develop and implement means for the site's protection. We hope to see you in April for this unique glimpse into the Kisatchie's past, and the important work to ensure the future of Site 16WN542!

Number of openings: 20

Special skills: Must be physically capable of hiking through woodland terrain each day, and physically capable of prolonged periods of sitting, standing, kneeling, bending, and lifting daily in a variety of weather conditions; previous archaeological excavation, survey, mapping, laboratory, artifact identification (particularly Woodland Period), photography, sketching, and/or site stabilization experience helpful, but not required

Minimum age: 18 years old

Facilities: Developed tent and RV camping available at no charge at Gum Springs; water, restrooms, some hook-ups (limited availability); Winnfield is a full-service community with motels, restaurants, and a range of other amenities; volunteers responsible for personal camping equipment/lodging, food, and daily transportation to and from designated meeting area

Nearest town: Goldonna, 10 miles; Winnfield, 25 miles

Applications due: March 17, 2014

For more information click here.





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