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Archaeological Impact Studies Marta East and West Lines

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A large construction project, such as the building of a mass rapid transit system, is highly destructive to the cultural remains that may lie in its path. This is especially true in the urban setting, where such projects frequently succeed in erasing forever all evidence of a complex sequence of past human activity. Because of this permanent and irreversible destruction, it is essential that historical and archaeological studies be conducted for purposes of recovering and preserving the cultural resources. Usually, this archaeological work will not result in sensational "finds" in the popular sense, but if carried out properly can result in the compilation of a "record" of the past and an "archive" for the future. The MARTA Archaeological Project has the compilation of such a record and archive as its objective.

The MARTA Project was conducted by the Laboratory of Archaeology, Department of Anthropology, Georgia State University, under Contract TZ600-M93-02, between February 15, 1976, and February 14, 1977. The following document represents a final report of the survey phase of the project, as set forth in the contract. Analyses of the data recovered during this one year of work will constitute research activities of staff and students for some years into the future.

Roy S. Dickens, Jr., Associate Professor of Anthropology, was project director and principal investigator. William R. Bowen was Field Archaeologist, and he was assisted by Linda R. Carnes and Gary D. Barber. Student field assistants were Jane Bacon and Elton Gannaway. Laboratory processing was carried out by Peggy Crawford, Madeleine Foley, Kathy Brown, and Elton Gannaway. Laboratory curation was supervised by Joan C. Rupp and Elizabeth Sheldon.

During the intensive surveys and excavations in the Decatur area, a number of individuals donated time, effort, and equipment to the project. We are grateful to Judy Edwards, Charles Coke, Ray Henderson, Madeleine Foley, Robert Blackwell, Rodney Key, Jane Bacon, Elton Gannaway, James Chapman, and Sandy Pottinger for their assistance in excavations at the Courthouse Grounds, Courthouse Well, and Huddle House.

The following companies contributed equipment, and in some instances operative personnel, in the excavation of the Courthouse Well: Atlanta Gas Light Company, Atlantic Telephone and Telegraph Company, Continental Heller Company, Gemini Construction Company, Georgia Power Company, Henderson Electric Company, and Underground Construction Company.

The DeKalb Historical Society, Gordon Midgett, Director, provided historical data on the Courthouse Well and Huddle House sites. Final location of the well was made possible through information provided by Luther D. Bailey, Sr., a resident of Decatur since 1904. Timothy Crimmins of the History Department at Georgia State University made available historical data on both the East and West lines, and John Burrison, Folklorist at Georgia State University, assisted in the identification of historic ceramics.

The staff of the Planning Division at MARTA -- Morris Dillard, Edward Castellani, Mary Anne Callen, and Richard Stanger -- were of assistance in many ways throughout the project. Charles M. Bibb, Director of Research and Development of the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia State University was of immeasurable help at various stages in the contracting process.

Also, we wish to express our gratitude to the numerous students and interested citizens who have given a few hours or a few days of their time to the MARTA Project, and to the many citizens of DeKalb and Fulton counties whose interest as passersby has truly made this an exercise in "public archaeology."

The photographic plates for this report were prepared by Linda Carnes. The maps and drawings were constructed by James McKinley (Figs. 36 and 37) and Roy Dickens (remainder of Figs.). James McKinley and Roy Dickens prepared the cover for the report. The report was typed by Karen Haley.