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Archaeological Investigation of 9Ra27, Rabun County, Georgia

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The purpose of the present study was to investigate the nature and extent of an archaic site on a tract of land selected for exchange. The site was discovered by a University of Georgia archeological team under contract with the Forest Service during the period August 8 to September 5, 1975. In his report entitled "Final Report on Archaeological Survey I, Chattahoochee National Forest (Rabun County, Georgia)," Project Director Graybill described site 9Ra27 (1975:26). This site is located on an old ford of Sawmill Creek. Artifacts were collected from overturned tree roots and the road bank in what appears to be a quarry. A large quartz boulder was observed on the upper road bank. Based on very limited fieldwork, Graybill attempted to tie 9Ra27 with three additional sites (9Ra52, 53, 54) and suggested testing to assess their potential to yield evidence sufficient to answer and generate questions concerning the extraction or possessing of material for tools (1975:53). Sites 9Ra27, 52, 53, and 54 present a logical unit of analysis for research directed toward explanation of lithic procurement, distribution, and manufacturing processes by prehistoric inhabitants of these areas. Sites 27 and 52 appear to be quarries that represent areas of lithic procurement yet each exhibits contrasting activities of lithic processing. At site 52, it appeared that only large (ca.2Kg and larger) flakes were being detached from parent outcropping and boulders. Reduction of these large flakes into other blanks, or tools, may have been occurring at the nearby sites, 9Ra53 and 54. Conversely, the evidence at the other quarry, 9Ra27, suggests that an entire range of processing was accomplished at this site. In order to more fully investigate these circumstances, a partial excavation of each site is recommended. In October and November, 1976, the author conducted intensive testing of 9Ra 52, 53, and 54 and found no evidence of significant utilization of these sites by man (Forest Service Report No. 77TA-015-5). Discussion between the author, Graybill, and Seckinger disclosed that the latter's low order survey was a reconnaissance only. Specimens recovered by Seckinger were scanty; human modification was questionable (personal communication, Schneider, Seckinger, Graybill, 1977). Graybill's report and the author's work on sites 9Ra52, 53, and 54 (USFS, 1977), thus set the stage for the present investigation.