News from OAC

Remembering Alva McGraw

(March 1909- April 2000)

N'omi Greber

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Alva McGraw shared his deep interest in the archaeology of Ross County with generations of avocational and professional archaeologists, all of whom benefited from his knowledge, enthusiasm, and practical advice. He was instrumental in excavations of sites that spanned thousands of years of human history, from Station Prairie, the first historic settlement; back nearly two thousands years to a Hopewell site on his farm, now named for him in the archaeological literature; and back farther yet to eras known as Adena, Archaic, and Paleoindian.


He was a member and supporter of the avocational Archaeological Society of Ohio and the professional Ohio Archaeological Council. He identified artifacts for new and more experienced surface collectors, and encouraged searching for "answers" that would enlighten us all. He encouraged and worked with new field techniques such as the Ken Goodman resistivity instruments that located features below the ground without digging. For more than forty years he knew and assisted crews from all the institutions that sponsored archaeological work and site preservation in Ross County including Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University), Mound City National Monument (now part of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park), the Ohio Historical Society, Kent State University, Cleveland State University, Ohio State University, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and the Archaeological Conservancy.

Many share with me memories of a warm, personal friend who was always ready to fix broken equipment, discuss the mysterious ways water can travel in Paint Creek, give guided tours of sites even outside Ross County, and spend hours talking with the many visitors who sat around his kitchen table. His visitors were not only archaeologists, but people he dealt with in his long time public service for Ross County and his many personal friends. He is greatly missed by us all.

Report on Ohio's First Archaeology Week


Sandra Lee Yee

Site Anthropologist/Site Manager
SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park

At the OAC Annual Meeting in November 1999, Dr. William S. Dancey, as the newly elected president of the OAC, announced as one of his hopes for the coming year that the Education Committee of the OAC would look into establishing a state archaeology week for Ohio. Dr. David Bush was chair of this committee, and Sandy Yee had just been one of the new committee members elected. Therefore this challenge was passed to them.

In January 2000, Mark Meister, newly hired Director of the Dayton Society of Natural History, and as such, supervisor to Sandy Yee, Site Anthropologist for SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park, tasked Sandy to look into establishing a state archaeology week for Ohio, based on examples from SAA and elsewhere. Finally, William Patterson, Sr. of Patterson Graphics and William Pflaum of Mazer Corp., both of Dayton, in discussion with Mark Meister, offered their companies' talents to design and print posters for an archaeology week, if so desired.

Therefore, the stage was set, and Sandy began dialog with Dr. Dancey, requesting information and direction on how the OAC wished to proceed, as well as submitting request for grant from OAC Grants committee to help with funding of such a task. OAC Board voted to make a direct contribution of $1000 to the Dayton Society of Natural History for Sandy and SunWatch to cover some of the costs of preparing the first ever "Ohio Archaeology Week."

The Society and OAC partnered in this endeavor, with Sandy Yee and Dr. Bush as the coordinators. They designed the letters and applications that were mailed to all of OAC members, as well as oversaw the design and production of the posters and flyers distributed statewide advertising the events. The week of June that included the Summer Solstice (in 2000 this fell on June 19-25) was chosen for Ohio's archaeology week. It was thought that the Summer Solstice will provide a memorable link for state archaeologists and historians in all upcoming years (as the Summer Solstice was recognized historically as well as prehistorically). Additionally, this week is very favorable to families on vacation, for schools are out by then. Furthermore, various sites have opened their summer field work/schools and can incorporate tours or workshops at the sites as one of their Ohio Archaeology Week educational activities for the public.

Although letters requesting collaboration, support, partnering, etc. were sent to OHPO, OHS, and Governor Taft in February 2000, due to the short time frame the named organizations could not join the effort. However, if approached much earlier (very early fall 2000) for the Ohio Archaeology Week of 2001, they may be able to partner, thus lending more resources to the effort.

Posters and brochures listing statewide activities were ready (albeit later than desired) and shipped in early June to all participants who had contributed activities, as well as to all Contact People, and requesting organizations or individuals. The poster was a beautiful depiction of the state of Ohio as an excavated feature/square with inset photos and text highlighting the sites and events offered during week.

Sandy sent request to presenters and Contact People for all and any Evaluations they received or prepared, so that evaluation and improvement of the program could begin for next year.

Archaeology Week-2000

Coordinators: Dr. David Bush, Chairman of Education Committee, Ohio Archaeological Council,Center for Historic and Military Archaeology, Heidelberg College

Sandra Lee Yee, member of Education Committee, Ohio Archaeological Council, SunWatch Indian Village/Arch-aeological Park, Dayton, Ohio

Contributing Organizations: Ohio Archaeological Council, Dayton Society of Natural History (through SunWatch), Patterson Graphics, Mazer Corp., and C&O Printing.

Ad Hoc Legislative Issues Committee Report


Al Tonetti, Committee Chair

Federal Legislative Issues

You can access legislative information or contact any member of Congress at You can also reach any member of Congress by calling the Capitol at (202) 224-3121 or 1-800-962-3524; by writing your Representative at the U.S. House of Representatives, Washington DC 20515, or your Senators at the U.S. Senate, Washington DC 20510; or electronically through either or

Section 106 Regulations

In response to the federal lawsuit by the National Mining Association challenging the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's (ACHP) current Section 106 regulations [see March 2000 OAC Newsletter Vol. 12(1)], on July 11 the ACHP published its current Section 106 regulations in the Federal Register as proposed regulations open to public comment. The current Section106 regulations went into effect on June 19, 1999 and remain in effect. It is anticipated that the new final regulations will be submitted to the ACHP for a vote on adoption on November 17, 2000. Comments on the current Section 106 regulations were to be submitted on or before August 10, 2000, addressed to the Executive Director, ACHP, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 809, Washington D.C. 2004, or by fax to (202) 606-8672, or by email to . The public comment notice and the current Section 106 regulations can be found in the Federal Register at www.access.gpo/su_docs/aces/aces140.html.

HR 701, The Conservation and Reinvestment Act of 2000

HR 701 amends the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act. It will permanently fund many natural and a few cultural resource programs, the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) in particular. The funds come from Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leases, estimated at $4-5 billion annually. The HPF funds much of the operations of State Historic Preservation Offices, particularly in Ohio. Much of the money will make its way to states for natural and cultural resource programs, including programs that benefit archaeology. Ohio is scheduled to receive one of the largest sums, about $54 million a year. That amounts to over $800 million over the 15 years the law will be in effect. Over 4,000 organizations and all 54 governors support the bill.

The U. S. House of Representatives passed HR 701 on May 11, 2000. The vote was 315 to 102, with 118 Republicans, 196 Democrats, and 1 Independent voting for the bill, showing strong bipartisan support for the measure. Ninety-three Republicans, 8 Democrats, and 1 Independent voted against the bill. All of Ohio's Democratic Representatives and 6 of 11 Republican Representatives voted for the bill. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 13 to 7 in favor of the bill, but its chance for passage by the full Senate is less certain. There is strong opposition from a number of Senators from western states, and the end of the 106th Congress is fast approaching. Ohio Senator DeWine supports the bill while Senator Voinovich does not. If Ohio's $400 million Conservation and Revitalization Fund is approved by Ohioans on November 7, 2000 (see State Issue 1 below), Ohio will be well positioned to take advantage of the federal funds from the Conservation and Reinvestment Act, assuming it is approved by the Senate, a House-Senate Conference Committee, and signed by the President. Please contact Ohio Senators Voinovich and DeWine, or your state Senators, as soon as you can about the bill.

HR 834, National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 2000

Among other things, HR 834 extends the authorization of the HPF and the ACHP through fiscal year 2005 (September 30, 2006), and reinstates the annual transfer of $150 million into the HPF. President Clinton signed the bill into law on May 26, 2000.

HR 2643, Amendments to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)

HR 2643 would provide for the appropriate study and repatriation of human remains for which a cultural affiliation is not readily ascertainable by repealing the ownership provisions of NAGPRA based on aboriginal land claims. Until several issues concerning the Kennewick Man litigation are settled, this bill is unlikely to move. The bill's sponsor is Rep. Hastings (R-WA). Upon introduction it was referred to the House Committee on Resources. Please contact you Representative about this bill.

S. 2478, The Peopling of America Theme Study Act

On April 27, Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), for himself and Senator Bob Graham (D-FL), introduced legislation authorizing the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct a theme study to identify, interpret, and preserve sites relating to the migration, immigration, and settling of America. S. 2478, The Peopling of America Theme Study Act, builds upon the latest official thematic framework authorized in 1996 (PL 101-628, Sec. 1209), and seeks to encourage the nomination of properties for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, the identification of potential new National Historic Landmarks, and the recommendation to Congress of sites for potential inclusion in the National Park System.

In introducing this legislation Senator Akaka noted: "All Americans were originally travelers from other lands. Whether we came to this country as native peoples, English colonists or African slaves, or as Mexican ranchers, or Chinese merchants, the process by which our nation was peopled transformed us from strangers from different shores into neighbors unified in our inimitable diversity -- Americans all."

Senator Akaka stressed that it is essential for all Americans to understand this process. The legislation recognizes that only one NPS unit focuses on the peopling of America, Ellis Island, a part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. Senator Akaka hopes that the study will serve as a springboard for the preservation and interpretation of several significant properties.

The legislation calls on the NPS to establish linkages with "organizations, societies and cultures" and to enter into a cooperative agreement with educational institutions, professional or local historical organizations, or other entities to prepare the theme study in accordance with generally accepted scholarly standards. Please contact Senators DeWine and Voinovich, or your state's Senators, about S. 2478.

State Legislative Issues

You can view and print copies of Ohio laws, bills, bill summaries, and status reports of bills at can reach your Representative or Senator by calling the Legislative Information Office at 1-800-282-0253; by writing your Representative at the Ohio House of Representatives, 77 South High St., Columbus, OH 43266-0603, or your Senator at the Ohio Senate, Senate Building, Columbus, OH 43215. Some members of the General Assembly have email address that are linked through the website.

[The end of the 123rd Ohio General Assembly, 1999-2000, is fast approaching. Bills that have not had hearings are unlikely to be enacted this session and will have to be reintroduced into the 124th Ohio General Assembly, 2001-2002]

State Issue 1, the Ohio Conservation and Revitalization Fund

On November 7, Ohio voters will decide whether or not to approve a $400 million environmental protection bond issue (see H. J. R. 15, May 19 Legislative Issues Committee Report). The fund was proposed by Gov. Taft and nearly unanimously approved by the Ohio General Assembly earlier this year.

The fund will initially provide $400 million over the next four years, with continuing investments as older bonds are retired or as community loans are repaid. From the initial investment, $200 million would be used to clean up brownfields (land that cannot be developed because it is contaminated with industrial wastes, but the site is not a federal Superfund site) and other, as yet unspecified, urban revitalization efforts. $200 million would also be used to preserve green space, farmland, streams, and expand recreational trails.

If Ohio voters pass the issue on November 7, the Ohio General Assembly will need to pass legislation detailing how the funds will be allocated, who would be eligible for funding, etc. Gov. Taft has indicated that local communities should decide on how and where the funds are to be used, based on local needs and priorities. The Governor has stated that city, township, and county governments, conservation districts, park boards, and some private sector entities should be able to apply for funds administered as grants and low-interest loans. The grants are to be matched by local dollars. The amount to be matched will be determined by the Ohio General Assembly. Funds from the program and matching funds can be used to leverage other dollars for environmental programs, particularly at the federal level.

The proposed fund is similar to the NatureWorks bond issue passed by Ohio voters in 1993, a program that continues to provide funds for repairing and enhancing primarily State-owned parks, forests and nature preserves. A relatively small portion of NatureWorks funds goes to local communities. The Conservation and Revitalization Fund is directed at local projects for environmental protection.

The fund does not increase taxes. Funds would come from the sale of bonds, which would be repaid over time with existing State revenues through a mix of general revenues and liquor-profit tax revenues. By law, funds cannot be granted or loaned to parties responsible for the contamination of a site determined to be a brownfield.

Whether or not Conservation and Revitalization Fund projects will be required to take into consideration their impacts on archaeological resources remains to be decided by the Ohio General Assembly and the state agencies that will implement the program, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the Ohio Department of Development, the latter of which recently funded an archaeology review position at the Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO). Presently, NatureWorks projects are reviewed by the OHPO. OHPO indicates that since review of NatureWorks projects began in 1994, 3-4% of OHPO's total workload consists of NatureWorks project reviews. This figure represents about 200-250 projects/year (ca. 1,200-1,500 projects). Archaeological investigations were recommended on 150 of the projects (ca. 10-13%), and OHPO reviewed 62 archaeological reports (40% of the 150 projects for which archaeological investigations were recommended). The number of archaeological sites found as a result of recommended surveys was low, less than 50, and only one archaeological site was determined to meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation (Dave Snyder, personal communication 2000).

Although the number of significant archaeological sites found as a result of OHPO's review of NatureWorks grants is apparently low, OHPO indicates that the effort has been worthwhile, particularly in raising the awareness of ODNR and NatureWorks applicants that archaeological resources exist and should be considered in project planning. The Ohio Archaeological Council will work to see that a similar review is undertaken for projects under the new program, if passed by Ohio voters on November 7.

House Bill 232/Senate Bill 51, increases the penalty for the offense of desecration

This bill increases the penalty for desecrating a place of worship or any other object of reverence or sacred devotion from a misdemeanor to a felony. The bill also increases from $5,000 to $15,000 the amount of damages a person may recover from the parent of a minor child as a result of a child's vandalism or desecration. The intent of the bill is to protect churches and cemeteries, but could be interpreted by the courts to include traditional cultural properties and sacred places such as prehistoric mounds, earthworks, and cemeteries. The Senate version of the bill was passed the General Assembly and Gov. Taft signed the bill on June 17, 1999. The bill became effective September 20, 1999.

House Bill 279, creates the Ohio Network-to-Freedom Commission as a permanent agency to preserve and promote the history of and to educate the public about the Underground Railroad

The bill creates the Commission, whose tasks include developing a public-private partnership to research, document, mark, and preserve Ohio sites associated with the Underground Railroad. The bill was introduced March 24, 1999 and assigned to the Education Committee. No action has been taken on the bill.

House Bill 393/S. B. 193, replaces the call-before-you-dig law with a single statewide one-call notification system

This bill requires that excavators, including archaeologists, notify the one-call system of the location of an excavation site and the intent to excavate at least 48 hours but not more than 10 days before commencing an excavation. Any excavator who knowingly fails to notify the one-call system is subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation, and fines up to three times the amount of reasonable costs of repairs to damaged underground utilities (see May 19 Legislative Issues Committee Report). The House bill was introduced June 17, 1999 and assigned to the Local Government Committee. The Senate bill was introduced on October 12, 1999 and assigned to the Ways and Means Committee. No action has been taken on either of the bills.

House Bill 463, allows corporations and individuals to receive nonrefundable tax credits of up to $50,000 for rehabilitating a historic property

The bill allows taxpayers to claim corporation franchise and personal income tax credits for 25%, not to exceed $50,000, of the qualifying expenditure incurred to rehabilitate a historic property. The bill was introduced September 30, 1999 and assigned to the Ways and Means Committee. No action has been taken on the bill.

House Bill 550, revises the offense of vandalism to prohibit a person, without privilege to do so, from knowingly causing physical harm to private property and serious physical harm to government property

The bill was introduced on January 18, 2000 on behalf of the Archaeological Society of Ohio (ASO). It was assigned to the Criminal Justice Committee [see March 2000 OAC Newsletter Vol. 12(1)]. Proponent (ASO) testimony was heard on May 16 (see May 19 Legislative Issues Committee Report). No further action has been taken.

House Bill 601, creates the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Mineral Resource Management Division

This bill merges ODNRs Division of Oil and Gas with the Division of Mines and Reclamation forming the Division of Mineral Resources Management. This is now the division that regulates mining's impact on cultural resources. The bill passed the General Assembly and was signed into law by Gov. Taft on June 14.

House Bill 679, requires that when the theory of evolution is taught in public school the scientific evidence for and against the theory be taught

The bill was introduced on May 2, 2000 and assigned to the Education Committee. No action has been taken.

House Bill 702/Senate Bill 276, revises the application requirements for a non-coal surface mining permit

The bill revises and adds requirements to the permit application process for aggregate (non-coal) industrial minerals mining. The application requirements do not address archaeological resources (see May 19 Legislative Issues Committee Report). The bill was introduced in the House on May 11, 2000 and assigned to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. No action has been taken. The bill was introduced in the Senate on March 28, 2000 and assigned to the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. No action has been taken.

President's Message


William S. Dancey

Since the spring members meeting, your President and members of the Board have been busy with Council business. Probably the most important event of the summer was the completion of Bob Genheimer's book containing the proceedings of our 1994 conference on the Late Prehistoric. Entitled Cultures Before Contact: The Late Prehistory of Ohio and Surrounding Regions, it contains 13 chapters including regional overviews, reports on site investigations, and a commentary on the state of the art in the study of the archaeology of this period. Much of the data in this book has not been published previously. Thus, as with the first two volumes in this publication series, we have accomplished our goal of making archaeological knowledge of Ohio prehistory more widely available. Additionally, it is an attractive, durable book that will hold its form even with repeated use. Thanks to Bob for sticking with this project and making it a first rate product.

Equally important is the successful completion of the first Ohio Archaeology Week. This was the product of cooperation between the Council and Sunwatch Indian Village. Among the organizations who participated were The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Marietta Natural History Society, Fort Ancient State Memorial, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, Sunwatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Heidelberg College, and the University of Toledo Laboratory of Archaeology. Plans are under way to repeat this event next year and to increase participation and support. Thanks to Sandy Yee for spearheading the project and to Dave Bush for serving as the Council liaison.

On another front, Al Tonetti and I attended a series of meetings beginning in mid-August concerning the Moundbuilders Country Club's proposal to demolish its existing clubhouse and build a new facility. In addition to writing the Director of the Ohio Historical Society to express our concerns about the potential destruction of archaeological remains as a result of the rebuilding, a nomination of the Octagon State Memorial to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of the "Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places" in the United States was submitted on behalf of the Council. Initiated by a group of concerned educators in the Newark area, the weekly meetings came to include American Indians, members of the Licking County Archaeological and Landmarks Society, and local citizens, along with representatives of the Club, the National Park Service, the Ohio Historical Society, and the State Historical Preservation Office. Amos Loveday, the State Preservation Officer, assigned several members of his staff to facilitate the drafting of a Memorandum of Understanding in an attempt to reach a consensus regarding the conduct of an archaeological survey on the targeted property, formulation of a policy on public access, and long-term plans for preservation. The process is ongoing. Thanks to Al for agreeing to get involved and lend his considerable knowledge of public archaeology to the issue.

Other accomplishments include the formulation of an amendment to the by-laws to streamline membership nomination approval, a hard look at the reality of constructing a high quality web site, monitoring of hearings on proposed industrial minerals legislation, and input into the planning process for Voyageur Media Group's Ohio Archaeology Video Series. I should not forget to include President-Elect Brian Redmond's suggestion to invite members to prepare short presentations on recent fieldwork at the fall meeting. This suggestion was unanimously embraced by the Board as a way for members to become more aware of what's going on around the state.

Members have been notified of the membership amendment and will be asked to discuss and vote on it at the fall meeting. The Board and I believe it is a positive step toward increasing membership and urge serious consideration of its provisions. In order not to over-extend my contribution to this issue of the Newsletter, I will end on this note. I hope I have said enough to make everyone want to attend the fall meeting to hear more about the above matters, as well as become better informed about recent archaeological activities around the state.

President's Message - March, 2006

President's Message - March, 2006

            It is a great pleasure and honor to become the new President of the Ohio Archaeological Council. I follow in wonderful footsteps. Bob Riordan served for two years as the prior President and did an outstanding job. He committed his time to the position, worked diligently, and used his generous insight to make informed and wise decisions on behalf of the OAC. We all owe Bob a hardy thanks!

         Over the next two years, I hope to follow the fine example set by Bob towards fostering the mission of the OAC. We are currently orchestrating the Spring meeting for May, and Abstracts from that meeting will be immediately posted on the web. We also are moving the Early Woodland/Adena manuscript along. The chapters in that volume will be submitted soon for review under the auspices of Ohio University Press. We also are engaged in representing the display and preservation of the archaeological record and heritage of Ohio.

            Since you are reading this message, you know we have a new web page design for the OAC. It is our commitment to keep you informed and current on all OAC and OAC-related matters. The web page is our primary mechanism for sharing that information with our members; it also is our public face. I hope you all benefit from the new web page and make it routine to periodically check for current news, research, and external relations by the OAC.


            Elliot Abrams
            Professor of Anthropology, Ohio University
            President, OAC

President's Message

I hope those of you who were lucky enough to be in the field this summer had a successful season and are getting on to the cleaning, cataloging, and analysis. I also hope to read about your activities in upcoming OAC Newsletters or hear about them at future OAC meetings.

I have some good news to report. Bob Genheimer has told the Board that the Late Prehistoric publication should be going to the printer by the first of the year. We are all looking forward to getting back on a regular publication schedule.

Please note on your calendars, if you haven't already, the annual meeting of the Eastern States Archeological Federation on November 18-21. As Ohio's representative to this organization, the OAC is the official host for the meetings. They will be held at the Kings Island Convention Center and Resort, Kings Island, Ohio, about 25 miles northeast of Cincinnati along I-71. A full program and registration form will be sent to OAC members along with the election ballot, which you should receive soon. Bill Dancey has organized an interesting workshop for OAC members on Friday morning, November 19 at Fort Ancient State Memorial, and a symposium on Friday afternoon at the Kings Island Convention Center that should be of interest to both OAC and ESAF members. By the way, you can join ESAF as an individual, which includes a copy of the annual publication Archaeology of Eastern North America. Recent issues have included articles by Brian Redmond, Ken Tankersley, Brad Lepper, and David Stothers, among others. Membership information is available at (further information on the ESAF annual meeting is at

By the time of our fall meeting, we should have the OAC website on line (or at least very close to being on line). Like the Newsletter, the website will be an important communication link to our members, to potential members, and to people who are interested in or have questions about archaeology in Ohio. Also, like the Newsletter, the website provides an opportunity for all OAC members to write articles, announce fieldwork opportunities, etc. These two outlets are ideal for communicating, perhaps in abstracts or executive summary form, the results of the contract archaeology projects underway in the state.

OAC elections are fast approaching. Thanks to all the candidates for running. As the end of my term as your president approaches, I want to express my thanks to the other officers, trustees, and committee chairs for all their efforts during the past two years. I am confident that the next two years with Bill Dancey at the helm will see the Council expand its membership and continue to make a significant contribution to Ohio archaeology.

Read more: President's Message