February 22, 1996
Mass. Historical Commission
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Mass. State Archives Facility
Boston MA 02125
It has come to my attention that Bridgewater State College is planning several short-term renovations over the next 8 months, including adding several parking lots to make up for spaces which will be lost to the incoming MBTA station. I en-close a map showing these. Most of the lots in question appear to be in disturbed areas, including an old nail factory (#26 on the map). However, one area, #27, on the corner of Hooper and Plymouth Streets, appears to have second growth forest only and is adjacent to a wetland. I have spoken with Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria, Vice President for Administration and Finance, and in-formed him of the possibility that archaeological survey would be required on this parcel. He informed me that his direction on this project comes from DCPO.
I spoke with Connie Crosby about this today and she suggested I refer the matter to you for review.
Dr. Curtiss Hoffman
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
May 27, 1996
Dr. Dana Mohler-Fahria
Vice President of Administration and Finance
Bridgewater State College
Bridgewater MA 02325
Dear Dr. Mohler-Fahria:
Enclosed please find a bid for a locational archaeological survey in the area of the proposed Hooper Street Parking Lot on the Bridgewater Campus. This survey is in accord with the recommendations of the Massachusetts Historical Commission in their letter dated May 14. A copy of this proposal has been forwarded to the Commission with an application for a permit for the survey.
In my conversation on this matter with Mr. Gomes, I have indicated that the proper excavation of approximately 100 test pits would take 4-6 days of field time to complete, and could cost the College about $10,000 - $12,000 should it decide to contract with an outside cultural resource management firm. I have attempted to trim the costs where reasonable. For example, since I a m housed at the College there is no rental cost for facilities. As indicated in the budget, I am able to offer this service at a fee of $4700.
Since I understand that the College wishes to have the parking lot completed by September of 1996, and since I will be fully occupied with my field school during July and August, I would be free to conduct this survey during the latter part of the month of June. As it takes at least a week for the Massachusetts Historical Commission to process the permit application, I think you can see that time is of the essence in this situation. I await your response to this proposal.
Very truly yours,
Dr. Curtiss Hoffman
Documentary Research: 1/2 day @$175/day $82.50
Principal Investigator: 1/2 day @$175/day 82.50
2 Field Crew: 1/2 day @$60/day 60.00
Principal Investigator: 5 days @$175/day 875.00
Historic Consultant: 5 days @$80/day 400.00
5 Field Crew: 5 days @$60/day 1500.00
Principal Investigator: 2 days @$175/day 350.00
4 Field Crew: 2 days @$60/day 480.00
Report Preparation: 2 days @$175/day 350.00
Contingency = 10% of the above: 418.00
Workman's Compensation Insurance 75.00
Supplies: Bags, forms, paper, foil, etc. 27.00
PROPOSAL FOR AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY
HOOPER PARKING LOT
BRIDGEWATER STATE COLLEGE
This proposal is fo r a locational archaeological survey to be conducted prior to construction of a parking facility on the east side of Hooper Avenue, between Plymouth Street (Route 104) to the north and the grounds of the Bridgewater Campus School to the south. The eastern edge of the project area is an extensive wet-land resource area. An extension of this wetland occupies the central eastern half of the property and will not be impacted by construction. Thus, the project area is roughly C-shaped around this wetland a nd measures approximately 10,000 square feet in area. The property is currently owned by Bridgewater State College and is located in the Bridgewater U.S.G.S. Quadrangle.
Current vegetation appears to be mostly secondary growth with few large trees. Four previous house foundations are located on the premises, but there are no standing structures. It is presumed that the area around these foundations has been subjected to plow-ing and filling during hi storic times. Other modifications are limited to the areas immediately adjacent to the school grounds, Hooper Street, and Plymouth Street. Soils in the project area are listed as Raynham Silt Loam (USDA 1969).
Archaeological investigations in the Taunton River drainage have a long history. Numerous important prehistoric sites have been subjected to extensive excavation, including within the Town of Bridgewater the Titicut (Robbins 1967), Seaver Farm (), and Plymouth Street (Hallaren 1988) sites. Titicut and Plymouth Street are large base camps located close to important physiographic features along the main stem of the Taunton River. Sites adjacent to smaller water resources are less well documented, but a comprehensive inventory of collections from the adjacent Town of Middleborough (Hoffman 1991) has shown that flat, well-drained surfaces close to water -- including current wetlands -- are likely to have been occupied at least once during the pr ehistoric period. Most often these sites are special purpose camps for the extraction of specific resources such as plant and animal foods and construction materials, clays for pottery manufacture, or lithics for stone tool production.
Occupation of the Taunton River drainage is documented from as early as 9000+270 B.P. (Robbins 1981), though Paleo-Indian sites are thinly scattered and have few diagnostic artifacts. These seem to reflect a widely di spersed migration pattern of people who had access to lithic materials from distant sources. Early Archaic sites (9,000 - 8,000 B.P.) are much better known, and the Taunton drainage seems to have been a particularly important focus for the manufacture of Bifurcate Base points during this period (Hallaren 1988, Johnson 1993). The well established base camps at Titicut/ Fort Hill/Taylor Farm in south Bridgewater and North Middleborough, and the Plymouth Street site in north Bridgewater, provide ample evi dence for these. A pit containing a suite of Bifurcate points and quartz edge tools from the Plymouth Street site has been dated to 7980+200 B.P. (Beta-15192). Other Early Archaic types are less well documented, but Kirk-like and Kessel-like bifaces have been recovered both from Plymouth Street and the bluff across the Mat-field River from it (Hallaren, personal communication). Hallaren has suggested (1988) that these sites may represent a concentration of population close to major rivers during a tim e of maximal cli-mactic recovery from the Wisconsinan glaciation. However, in Mid-dleborough some Bifurcates have been recovered from small sites near headwater streams and ponds (Hoffman 1991). A cache of pre-forms from Double P, a site of this type in southwestern Bridgewater, yielded a radiocarbon date of 8555+200 B.P. (GX-7508) (Thor-bahn 1982).
Middle Archaic (8,000 - 6,000 B.P.) adaptations are well doc-umented in the Taunton drainage, especiall y at Annasnappet Pond, a headwater pond of the Winnetuxet in Carver, with dates of 7880+240, 7840+260, 7820+120, 7660+110, 7570+150, 7430+80, 7290+120, 7130+110, 6810+130, 6470+80, and 6440+120 B.P. (Beta-63078, 58111, 58860, 63079, 58115, 63081, 63080, 58112, 61395, 57029, and 58114, respectively) (Doucette personal communication); at Plymouth Street in Bridgewater, where a date of 7500+50 B.P. was recovered on hazelnut associated with a Neville point (Hallaren, personal communication); and at Peace Haven 2 at the head of the estuary in Freetown (Barnes et al. 1986), where they are dated at 6460+75 (UGa-830). Dated sites further from the river include Double P in Bridgewater at 7670+290 B.P. (GX-7509) and 6505+120 B.P. (GX-7570) (Thorbahn 1982), and Johnson #1 in north Taunton at 6910+160 B.P. (Beta-15194) (Hoffman 1981). Middle Archaic Neville, Neville Variant, and Stark points are not infrequent at base camp sites in Bridgewater and Middleborough, and they are also found in larger quantities th an Bifurcates at sites more removed from the main stem of the river. One must exercise caution in typing these points to the Middle Archaic, however, because they continued to be used in later periods (Hoffman 1991b) -- including the Bay Street I site in North Taunton, near the Snake River (Thorbahn et al. 1982), where they have been dated to 3990+180 B.P. (GX-7077). Like Early Archaic sites, Middle Archaic sites are often closely linked to water, in part perhaps because of the continuing hot dry clima te of the hypsithermal during this period, in part because of a concen-tration on fishing technology using fall lines (Dincauze 1976). However, at Annasnappet Pond they are directly associated with atl-atl weights, a throwing technology not usually associated with fishing, and the dates at Plymouth Street and Johnson #1 are associated with hazelnut harvesting, suggesting Fall seasonality.
The Late Archaic (6,000 - 3,750 B.P.) is particularly well doc umented in the Taunton River drainage, especially the Narrow Point or Small Stemmed Point phase (4,500 - 3,750 B.P.). Numerous dated sites include Norton Reservoir in Norton at 5640+280 B.P. (GX-7474) (Thorbahn 1982); Canoe River West in Norton at 4835+235 B.P. (GX-7085), associated with a Small Triangle point, and at 3865+210 B.P., associated with a Small Stemmed point (Thorbahn 1982); Bear Swamp 1 in Berkeley at 4640+80 B.P. (Y-2499), associated with a Brewerton Notched point, and 4145+65 B.P. (UGa-3 89); and nearby Bear Swamp 2 at 4180+75 B.P. (UGa-386) and 4080+85 (UGa-387) (Barnes 1972); Wapanucket 3 in Middleborough, at 4320+250 (W-363), and nearby Wapanucket 6 at 4300+250 B.P. (M-969) and 4250+300 B.P. (M-764), the latter date associated with a Small Triangle and a Small Stemmed point, and Wapanucket 8 at 4720+140, 4290+140 and 3910+100 B.P. (M-1350, GX-1104, and Y-1168), the middle one associated with a Stark, a Small Triangle, and a Small Stemmed point (Robbins 1981), Bay Street 1 in Taunto n at 4305+180, 4050+190, 4015+150, 4010+140, 3990+180, 3945+135, 3925+140, and 3900+155 B.P. (GX-7411, 7574, 7471, 7090, 7077, 7468, 7571, and 7088 respectively; the 3990 date as noted above is asso-ciated with a Neville point, and also a Vosburg; the 3945 date is associated with an Orient Fishtail); the Titicut site in Bridgewater at 5750+720 (C-809B) and 4140+260 (C-809) B.P. (Robbins 1967); the G. B. Crane site in Norton, dated at 4135+300 B.P. (GX-9277), associated with a Small Triangle and a Smal l Stemmed point (Thor-bahn 1983); the Newcomb Street site in Norton, dated at 4080+145 B.P. (GX-7406) (Thorbahn 1982); the Riverside 3 site in Lakeville, dated at 3870+90 B.P. (Beta-68519) (Leveillee, personal communication); Annasnappet Pond, dated at 4000+90 B.P. (Beta-57028) (Doucette, personal communication); and the Plymouth Street site in Bridgewater, dated at 3840+70 (Beta-25026) (Hallaren 1988). At most of these sites, quartz cobble technology predominates (Boudreau 1981), but there are smalle r percentages of Boston basin lithics and other materials. Site distribution is more widespread than for both previous and subsequent phases of prehistory, sug-gesting a successful diffuse adaptation to a wide variety of ecological niches. The two undated sites located in the vicinity of the Campus School, one during the 1977 survey (Bawden 1977), the other in the playground area to the south of the building by the author and his students, most likely belong to this time period.
The Transitional Archaic phase (3750 - 2750 B.P.) is one which saw an adoption of spectacular mortuary ceremonialism, with red paint burials accompanied by large blades of exotic materials, Broadspears, steatite bowls, ground stone tools, and odd items such as quartz crystals (Witthoft 1954). The Taunton River drainage was no exception to this pattern, though dated mortuary associations are lacking. Seaver Farm (Taylor 1972), Titicut (Robbins 1967), Hawes in Lakeville (Lord 1962), Indian Hill, Nemasket, and Wapanucket 8 (Robbins 1981) in Middleborough have all yielded burials of this phase. These sites are all adjacent to major rivers or lakes. Dates from the Transitional Archaic village at Wapanucket 8 include 3665+65, 3655+55, 3610+130, 3550+130, and 3435+85 B.P. (UGa-1412, 860, M-1213, 1212, and UGa-393, respectively). The G.B. Crane site has yielded dates of 3740+280 and 3425+265 B.P. (GX-9279 and 9278, respectively) (Thorbahn 1983). At Bay Street 1, dates of 3715+1 80, 3670+185, 3605+145, and 3250+180 B.P. (GX-7410, 7575, 7576, and 7089, respectively) continue the sequence of the pre-ceding period; the first of these was directly associated with several sherds of Vinette I pottery, one of the oldest pottery dates in the Northeast (Thorbahn 1982). The Newcomb Street site yielded dates of 3470+125, 3395+150, and 3295+220 B.P. (GX-7082, 7085, and 7083, respectively) (Thorbahn 1982). Canoe River West had dates of 3260+155 and 2845+160 (GX-9700 and 7079, respectively ; the latter associated with a Small Stemmed point and an Atlantic blade) (Thorbahn 1982). A similar association was recovered from the Plymouth Street site with a date of 3120+100 B.P. (Beta-25025), which also yielded dates of 3530+80 and 3110+60 B.P. (Beta-34802 and 34803) (Hallaren 1988). Annasnappet Pond yielded dates of 3020+60, 2950+80, and 2740+80 B.P. (Beta-79396, 79394, and 79393, respectively; the last two associated with steatite, the second with an Orient Fishtail, and the last with a Smal l Triangle) (Doucette, personal communication). The Bridge site in Lakeville provided a date of 3700+90 B.P. (Beta-31342) (Leveillee, personal communication). The T-194 site on the shores of Lake Sabbatia in Taunton produced a date of 2800+80 (Beta-53136) (Ritchie, personal communication). Finally, at the Plain Street site in Norton, a date of 3245+70 B.P. (UGa-2922) was recovered (Thorbahn 1982). Many of these sites are located at some distance from major rivers, and they tend to show the same prefere nces for raw materials, and, sometimes, types of points, as sites of the preceding Late Archaic period. This suggests that there may have been two distinct manifestations of culture during this phase: a riverine culture with emphasis on trade in exotic lithics and elaborate mortuary ceremonialism, and a backwater culture which was more based on local lithics and little, if any ceremonial elaboration. This was also a time of marked population decline throughout the Northeast, possibly associated with a sharp downswing in mean annual temperature (Hoffman 1996).
The succeeding Early Woodland phase (2750 - 2000 B.P.) is poorly documented in the Taunton drainage. Dates from Canoe River West at 2565+150, 2355+180, 2310+110, and 2180+130 B.P. (GX-7470, 7086, 7408, and 7407, respectively) are unassociated with diagnos-tic artifacts, as is a date of 2320+190 B.P. (GX-7081) at the Johnson #2 site in north Taunton and a date of 2245+130 B.P. (GX-7473) at th e Rumford River site in Mansfield (Thorbahn 1982) and a date of 2430+120 B.P. (Beta-23654) at Plymouth Street (Hallaren 1988). The Riverside 2 site in Lakeville yielded a date of 2660+90 B.P. (Beta-68518) in association with Vinette I pottery, while the nearby Riverside 8 site had a date of 2030+80 B.P. (Beta-39414) (Leveillee, personal communication). Many of these sites show a continued emphasis on quartz cobble technology, and a continuation of Small Stemmed points from the preceding phases. The mor tuary ceremonialism of the preceding period is absent from the drainage, and there are very few Adena-related burial sites anywhere in southern New England.
The evidence for Middle Woodland phase occupations (2,000 - 1,000 B.P.) is not much better. At the Bassett Knoll site in Raynham, a human cranial fragment was found in association with a date of 1980+150 B.P. (Beta-33409); the site also yielded dates of 1360+70, 1350+90, 1240+70, 1190+60, 1060+80, and 1020+70 (Beta-33407, 33406, 33405, 33408, 52203, and 52204, respectively) (Harrison, personal communication). The Snake River West site in Taunton produced a date of 1885+125 B.P. (GX-7578) (Thorbahn 1982). Bay Street 1 has yielded dates of 1670+125 and 1400+125 B.P. (GX-7469 and 7573). A date of 1370+160 B.P. (GX-7430) was recovered from the Rumford River site (Thorbahn 1982). All of these dates are unassociated with diagnostic artifacts. At Plymouth Street, a date of 1740+60 B.P. (Beta-28589) w as recovered in association with several Small Triangles typologically midway between Squibnockets and Levannas, while another similar date was associated with a clay pipe bowl fragment (Hallaren 1988). In general, Middle Woodland diagnostics (Greene, Fox Creek, and Jack's Reef points, and rocker-stamped ceramics) are not common in the drainage. This period may be one of gradual recovery after the population crash at the start of the Early Woodland phase.
Late Woodland sites (1,000 - 300 B.P.) are much more common, though dated sites are not. These include Johnson 2 in Taunton at 850+130 B.P. (GX-7698) (Thorbahn 1982), G.B. Crane in Norton at 850+205 B.P. (GX-9280) (Thorbahn 1983), Newcomb Street at 435+115 (UGa-2919) (Thorbahn 1982), Wankinquoah A in southern Middleborough at 790+65 B.P. (Beta-32326/ETH-5670) (Hoffman 1989), Annasnappet Pond at 930+60 B.P. (Beta-79398) (Doucette, personal communication), Rozenas 1 at 780+120 B.P. (GX-7467) (Thorb ahn 1982), Bassett Knoll at 760+70 and 520+50 B.P. (Beta-52202 and 28153) (Harrison, personal communication), and the Tree Farm site on the upper Shumatuscacant in Hanson, dated at 600+70 B.P. (Beta-15191), in association with a European gunflint -- considerably too early for the Pilgrims! (Hallaren 1988) Many of these locations are at headwater streams or ponds. Diagnostic Levanna points and castellated pottery have been recovered from many locations in Middleborough and surrounding towns, suggesting some population recovery from preceding periods.
Athearn, Roy, Arthur Staples, and Carol Barnes
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1981 The Johnson #1 Site: Final Report. Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater MA.
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1996 Change and Continuity: The Transitional Archaic Project. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Anthropological Association, Plymouth NH.
19 93 Bifurcate Base Projectile Points in Eastern and Central Massachusetts: Distribution and Raw Materials. BMAS 54(2):46-55.
Lord, Arthur C., Sr.
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Massachusetts Historical Commission
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1981 Wapanucket: An Archaeological Report. MAS, Attelboro, MA. Taylor, William B.
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U.S. Department of Agriculture
1969 Soil Survey, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Washington DC.
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