News from OAC

OAC Spring Meeting 2013 Agenda

May 3, 2013

Sharon Woods MetroPark, Spring Hollow Lodge, Westerville, Ohio


9:30 AM:         Coffee and Donuts


10:00 AM:       George Gillespie, Public Awareness/Services Coordinator, Ohio Utilities Protection Service


                        “Call Before You Dig” Training


11:00 AM:       Ohio Archaeological Council Business Meeting


12:30 PM:        Lunch on your own (maps of restaurant locations available at registration table).


1:30 PM:          Glen Boatman, Western Lake Erie Archaeological Research Program

                        David Stothers and His Contributions


                        For more than forty years David Stothers carried out a very intensive archaeological excavation program at the University of Toledo. He changed the conception that there were little Native American prehistoric sites in Northwest Ohio to the realization that there was much activity in this area. He trained some professionals even though the University never set up a Masters of Anthropology Program. He worked to educate avocational archaeology enthusiasts throughout Northwest and North Central Ohio and Southeast Michigan. He offered them opportunities to excavate right along side of his students. He encouraged avocationals to protect archaeological sites, setting up a system of Site Preservation Officers.  He wrote broadly on all periods of Native American prehistory and protohistory. He is a Man Not to be Forgotten. His multitude of artifact collections from excavated sites is being transferred to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.


1:50 PM:          Brian Redmond, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

                        “Structural Archaeology” at the Heckelman Site in 2012


                                    In summer 2012, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History completed a fourth season of excavations at the Heckelman site in Erie County, Ohio.  Testing revealed the remains of several structures dating from the Early Woodland to Late Prehistoric periods.   The earliest construction is at least 12 meters in diameter and consists of large post molds.  It is located near the center of the Early Woodland oval enclosure.   The remains of a complete rectangular dwelling, another partial structure, and a possible gateway in the village stockade line greatly increased our understanding of the Late Prehistoric (Sandusky Tradition) village settlement that terminated the use of the Heckelman site.         


2:10 PM:          David M. VanZandt, Cleveland Underwater Explorers Inc.

                        Sultan: Cleveland’s Grindstone Wreck


                                    Due to a novice captain’s error in judgment the brigantine Sultan foundered in Lake Erie off Cleveland, Ohio during a storm in 1864.  As the brigantine came to rest in shallow water only a few miles from shore with masts exposed, six of the eight crew climbed the rigging in an effort to survive.  One by one, however, the crew succumbed to the fury of the storm leaving a sole survivor to be rescued and to share the harrowing tale.  The wreck of the Sultan was discovered in 2011 by the Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE) with the assistance of associate Rob Ruetschle.  A reconnaissance survey was conducted and the wreck was determined to be the Sultan based on a number of unique features including her deck load cargo of large grindstones.


2:30 PM:          Robert A. Genheimer, Cincinnati Museum Center

                        Like Fish in a Barrel: A Late Prehistoric Bison Kill Event at Big Bone Lick, Boone County, Kentucky


                                    During an unprecedented dry period in late summer 2008, low water levels in Big Bone Lick Creek exposed a carpet of modern bison bones on the creek floor.  After construction of a small coffer dam and pumping of water away from the bone bed, both paleontologists and archaeologist from the Cincinnati Museum Center conducted salvage excavations of the find.  The remains of five individual bison (none complete) were recovered from a thin, hard, sandy conglomerate.  Three bone clusters were identified within a 3m by 7m area, with the central bone cluster being the densest and most representative of a complete animal.  Within this matrix, at least two dozen expedient flint and stone tools were located.  The tools suggest that unifacial and bifacial implements were made ‘on the spot’ to aid in the butchering.  Since modern bison did not arrive in this part of the Ohio River Valley until A.D. 1450-1550, the kill/butchering event can be attributed to the Madisonville Phase (ca. A.D. 1450-1650).


Leetsdale Site Report Now Available

 The Pittsburgh District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, recently published “36AL480, The Leetsdale Site, Archaeological Data Recovery, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania” (2012).  Electronic copies of the report (CD) may be requested through 2013 from the District Public Affairs Office either by phone at (412)395-7500, or by email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.';document.getElementById('cloakbd70be4ee1d64e044057ebcd2571ab0b').innerHTML += ''+addy_textbd70be4ee1d64e044057ebcd2571ab0b+'<\/a>'; .

Site 36AL480, a stratified multi-component site along the Ohio River floodplain in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, was impacted by the District’s construction of Braddock Dam segments in Leetsdale Industrial Park.  Data recovery excavations for mitigation were untaken concurrent with construction from 1999-2003.  The site included a 19th century brickworks overlying Native American occupations dating back about 6,800 years, discretely preserved in floodplain deposits.  Geomorphology and regional environmental reconstruction played a significant role in the excavations and site interpretation.  No other site of this type has been excavated under controlled conditions along the upper Ohio River in Pennsylvania.

 Columbus, Ohio-based CRM firms ASC Group, Inc. and Hardlines Design Company conducted Phase II archaeological investigations for this project.

The Passing of David Stothers

 David M. Stothers passed away on February 8, 2013 at the age of 66 years.  David was a founding member of the Ohio Archaeological Council and taught Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Toledo for nearly forty years until his retirement in 2011.  During most of this time, he also served as Director of the Western Lake Erie Archaeological Research Program at UT and the Firelands Archaeological Research Center in Amherst, Ohio.   He received the Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from McMaster University in 1969 and Master of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Toronto in 1971.  In 1974, David completed his doctoral work at Case Western Reserve University and in 1977 published his dissertation on the Princess Point Complex of southwestern Ontario.    Much of his professional career at UT focused on delineating the culture history of northern Ohio and, specifically, the western Lake Erie basin.   He trained dozens of students and graduate students in the fine points of field excavation, material analysis, artifact classification, and archaeological theory.  Several of these students—including the writer—went on to professional careers in Archaeology. David also worked extensively with avocational groups such as the Toledo Area Aboriginal Research Society, the Michigan Archaeological Society, and the Sandusky Bay chapter of the Archaeological Society of Ohio.   He published more than 60 articles on the prehistory of Ontario and northern Ohio, many with his students, and presented papers yearly at regional and national meetings.   David’s passion for archaeology was apparent to all with whom he interacted, and his zeal for understanding the intricacies of Ohio prehistory resulted in a long-lasting contribution to our knowledge of Native American culture history in the region.  His strong voice will be missed.  

Volume Two of the Journal of Ohio Archaeology Now Published

We are happy to report that the second annual issue of the Journal of Ohio Archaeology is now posted.   This issue contains two excellent articles on diverse topics.  Metin Eren's contribution presents his latest research on how unifacial endscrapers were hafted and used by early Paleoindians in the Great Lakes.  N'omi Greber and colleagues discuss the re-dating of the Ringler Dugout, a 22-feet long Native American watercraft that was originally thought to date to the Late Archaic period.  This article also examined the stability of the craft through controlled experiments with a scaled replica. 
Scholars involved in the archaeology of Ohio and adjacent states are encouraged to submit manuscripts for Volume Three of the Journal to be published in late 2013.   Please consult the submission guidelines for further information.

First OAC Scholarship Winner Selected

 Georgia Fenton, a Wright State University anthropology student from Fairborn, Ohio is the 2012 winner of an Ohio Archaeological Council Field School Scholarship award.  Georgia, who is enrolled in this summer’s Wright State University field school at the Moorehead Circle at Fort Ancient State Memorial, was awarded a $750 scholarship.  Georgia says she has been drawn to archaeology ever since middle school, and is excited about the opportunity to participate in this year’s field school.  A big thanks to Jeff Reichwein and Shaune Skinner of the OAC Field School Scholarship Committee, and to all those who so generously donated to the fund.


Bob Genheimer

President-elect and Chair of the Field School Scholarship Committee


OAC Government Affairs Committee Report

State Legislation/Issues

HB 501 Adena Pipe, Official  State Artifact.  The OAC sent a letter of support to the sponsor of a bill naming the Adena Pipe the state artifact.

HB 512 Land Conveyances (Seip Mound to NPS).  The OAC sent a letter of support to the sponsor of a bill conveying Seip Mound State Memorial to the National Park Service. 

SB 181 Implement Certain Recommendations of the Ohio Legislative Commission on the Education and Preservation of State History.  In December 2011, the bill passed the Senate and was sent to the House.  On January 24, the OAC testified before the House State Government and Elections Committee supporting the bill.  Among other things, the bill creates a task force to develop recommendations revising Ohio’s cemetery laws, including abandoned cemeteries and unmarked burial sites.  One of the members of the task force will be an archaeologist.  The bill also repeals the Ohio Historical Society’s (OHS) State Registries of Archaeological Landmarks and Historic Landmarks, two defunct programs, and creates an Ohio history license plate, proceeds from which will fund grants to local historical organizations in Ohio for exhibits and increasing public access to collections.  For the first four years following enactment, the primary focus of grants must be on the Civil War.  The House State Government and Elections Committee has not acted on the bill, and OHS does not think it will be considered until the lame duck session in November or December, meaning passage during the 129th General Assembly is problematic.

Oil and Gas Drilling on State Land.  Enactment of last year’s biennial state budget included provisions permitting oil and gas development on state land, except for nature preserves.  The law authorizes the Oil and Gas Leasing Commission (OGLC) to write rules governing oil and gas development on state land.  In these rules the OGLC can, if they chose to do so, require that studies to identify important archaeological sites be conducted before oil and gas development occurs.  Larry Wickstrom, Chief of the Division of Geological Survey, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), serves as Chairperson of the OGLC.  The Governor has yet to appoint the other four members of the OGLC: two representing the oil and gas industry, another with expertise and finance or real estate, and another representing a statewide environmental or conservation organization.  The rule-making procedure in Ohio is quite complex.  If you are interested in learning about it consult ODNR’s Rule Making Guide and/or An Overview of Administrative Rule-Making Procedure in Ohio”

Last fall, the OAC sent editorials to a number of Ohio newspapers concerning the need to identify important archaeological sites before oil and gas development occurs, some of which were published.  The intent of these efforts was to raise public awareness about this issue.  Soon thereafter, Mr. Wickstrom contacted the OAC after reading some of the editorials and receiving an inquiry from a state legislator who had been contacted by OAC Board member Andy Sawyer.  Mr. Wickstrom indicated that ODNR was working on the matter and he assured us that protection and preservation of archaeological and historical resources on state land is being addressed.  He invited the OAC to meet with him on December 9.  At the OAC’s request, ODNR also invited OHPO to the meeting.  Literally at the last hour, the meeting was cancelled by Mr. Wickstrom, and despite numerous attempts by the OAC and OHPO to reschedule the meeting, it has not occurred.

Similar rebuffs were experienced by other non-industry organizations.  On April 9, the Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club sued ODNR to obtain draft lease and best management practices (BMPs) documents ODNR was developing in consultation with the industry.  Soon thereafter, ODNR released drafts of the documents to the Sierra Club.  The OAC received copies from the Sierra Club and we have reviewed the documents.  Recently, we met with OHPO to discuss the documents.  We view the documents as a place to begin a discussion with ODNR about establishing adequate measures to identify and protect important archaeological sites on state land from industry impacts.  While the BMPs recognize cultural resources and places of “historic or archaeological value,” they need revision with the input of the OAC and OHPO.  We have contacted ODNR requesting a meeting to discuss the draft leases and BMPs, but have not received a reply.

OSM-ODNR/OHPO Programmatic Agreement (PA) for Abandoned Mine Lands in Ohio.  In December, the OAC submitted a new round of comments to the U. S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining, ODNR, and OHPO concerning their draft PA.  On January 10, 2012, OSM replied that they will send us a final version of the PA and an explanation of how they responded to our comments.  We have not received the final version or their comments to our concerns.

Ohio Underground Damage Control Prevention Coalition.  The OAC continues to participate in the OUDPC.  The Coalition is a working meeting/group, with a number of subcommittees who are reviewing existing laws in Ohio and similar laws elsewhere.  The Coalition’s goal is to revise Ohio’s utility protection laws (ORC 153.64 and 3781.25 - 32) making work around utilities safer for everyone, and establishing tough penalties for violators.  A draft bill may be introduced in the next month or so.  Al Tonetti is representing the interests of the OAC/archaeologists in the OUDPC. 

Remember that anytime and anywhere in Ohio that you plan to disturb or penetrate the ground with hand or mechanical tools, for any reason other than agricultural activities that does not exceed 12 inches in depth, be it an archaeological or other activity, before disturbing the ground you are required by law (ORC 3781.25 – 3781.32) to call the Ohio Utilities Protection Service (811) at least 48 hours, but no more than 10 days, excluding weekends and Holidays, so utilities can mark their underground lines, if present.  This will not change in the bill to revise the law.  However, new and tough penalties, perhaps $1000 per violation, are likely to be part of the bill.        

Statehood Day.  Another organization reserved the Statehouse atrium on Statehood Day 2012, so the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) held Statehood Day at OHS on March 1, 2012.  OHS intends for Statehood Day to return to the Statehouse in 2013. 

History Fund (Income Tax Checkoff).  One recently successful outcome of Statehood Day was the passage of the Ohio Income Tax Check-off supporting a history (broadly defined) grant program to be administered by OHS, now called the History Fund.  The income tax check-off appeared on your 2011 Ohio Income Tax forms.  So far, approximately $130,000 has been donated to the fund from 15,000 Ohio taxpayers.  You do not have to receive a refund to contribute.  Planning is well underway designing the grant program.  Al Tonetti is representing the interests of the OAC on the planning committee (handout distributed).    


Federal Legislation/Issues

Section 106.  Eastern Corridor and Village of Zoar.  The OAC is a consulting party to the Eastern Corridor Multimodal Project, Clermont and Hamilton counties, and to the Zoar Levee and Diversion Dam, Dam Safety Modification Study, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, two federal undertakings with high potential to affect important archaeological resources.  On behalf of the OAC, President-elect Bob Genheimer attended information meetings.  Bob summarized the meetings and projects in his report to the members.

Section 106 of National Historic Preservation Act may be threatened in 2012 and beyond.  Section 106 requires that Federal agencies consider the affects of their projects, called undertakings, on archaeological and historical sites listed in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).  This includes undertakings on federal land and other public and private land when there is a federal undertaking, such as a construction project using federal funds or a privately funded construction project requiring some type of federal permit, such as a permit to place fill into wetlands or navigable waters.  In the name of streamlining and job creation, the House of Representatives is passing legislation exempting certain projects and types of projects from complying with Section 106 and other federal laws and regulations.  More is expected.  Although Congress’ regulatory problems are primarily focused on the EPA, many environmental regulations are being scrutinized.  Although no Congressperson has called for the outright repeal of Section 106, and a frontal assault is unlikely, the integrity of the Section 106 process is threatened.   

Three recent examples:

H.R. 4348, Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II.  Of great concern in this bill are regulatory streamlining provisions that permit both acquisition and sale of properties without National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review, categorically exempting railroads and federal projects in response to emergencies or disasters from Section 106 review, and allowing Section 106 to be used as a substitute for 4(f) review.  Exempting compliance with Sections 106 and other federal laws identifying and protecting important archaeological sites is dangerous public policy because doing so may then become the norm, not the exception.  The House and Senate established a conference committee to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of transportation funding reauthorization.  They hope to work out their differences within three months.

H.R. 1505, National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act.  On October 5, 2011, the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 1505.  This bill, now before the full house, exempts the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from complying with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the Archeological Resources Protection Act, the Antiquities Act, NEPA, and more than 25 other federal laws when accessing federal land or building infrastructure, including fences and roads, within 100 miles of international land and maritime borders of the US.  A distance of 100 miles from Ohio’s maritime border with Canada covers most of the northern third to half of Ohio, including federally controlled areas of Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Lake Erie.  Ohio’s only member on the Committee, Rep. Johnson (R), voted yes.  A companion bill has not been introduced in the Senate. 

HR 1904, Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act 0f 2011.  This bill passed the House and awaits action in the Senate.  Among other things, it transfers 2,400 acres of public land to a privately owned mining company without assurances that cultural resources on the land will be protected pursuant to NEPA and Section 106 of NHPA.

According to the Society for American Archaeology, most archaeologists in the U.S. today work for private-sector cultural resource management (CRM) firms.  CRM is a billion dollar a year industry employing many thousands of people.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2011, employment for anthropologists and archaeologists is expected to grow by 28 percent, driven by growth in the management, scientific, and technical consulting services industry.  CRM firms, in addition to helping preserve and protect our cultural heritage, are in the forefront of the heritage tourism business, one of the few bright spots in these troubled economic times. 

The last time the integrity of Section 106 was severely threatened was in 2005, when Republicans in the House tried to limit Section 106 to historic properties currently listed or determined eligible for inclusion/listing in the NRHP, i.e., there would be no more Phase I surveys to identify historic properties.  This effort was defeated by a coalition of forces outside of and within Congress, but 2012 and beyond looks to be a very different and difficult time for environmental and similar laws and regulations in Congress.  The archaeological community nationally, statewide, and at the local level, needs to prepare itself for what may come.  Waiting may not save Section 106 this time around. 

At the national level, the Society for American Archaeology, Society for Historical Archaeology, Preservation Action, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, the American Cultural Resources Association, and other organizations will be prominent in any contest for Section 106.  At the state level, the efforts of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and the Ohio Archaeological Council will be prominent.