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Phase 1 Archaeological Survey of the Proposed Tolomato Island Community Dock and "The Thicket" (9MC404) McIntosh County, Georgia

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Two reconnaissance level (Phase I) archaeological surveys were conducted on a small portion of the Tolomato Island residential development in McIntosh County, Georgia. The first survey was performed by FCAS in 2001, when the property was scheduled to be impacted by construction of a boat ramp and parking facility (Cook and Rock 2002). However, this construction was delayed. In 2004, the site plans were changed to create a larger facility. Since the new plans involved increasing the size of the original property by adding an adjacent lot, a second survey was required. The current plans call for a community dock, marine railway and parking facility to be constructed on the site. Data from both surveys were used to establish the cultural resource management recommendations outlined in this report. The surveys employed surface reconnaissance and excavation of forty-three shovel tests to evaluate the 3800 square meter area of potential effect (APE). The fieldwork was accomplished in October 2001 and in December of 2004. The shovel tests yielded 78 prehistoric ceramic fragments, which represented a wide time range of aboriginal occupation. However, at least 27 sherds were from the Savannah phase (A.D. 1200-1350). Most of the ceramics were recovered from a shallow shell midden in the southern one half of the APE. The northern one half of the APE was characterized by only a scattering of shell. A number of modem disturbances and minor aboriginal use of the northern one half of the APE suggests that this area does not have significant archaeological value. Eight shovel tests in the southwestern area of the APE yielded minor quantities of early nineteenth century tabby plaster. A few other nineteenth century artifacts were also found in this area. The construction materials are indicative of a house site, but the small quantities found suggest that the structure was probably located some distance southwest of the APE. Due to modern disturbances and a general lack of midden and artifacts, recommendations are made that the northern one half of the APE be cleared from further consideration regarding archaeological preservation. However, recommendations are made that the southern one half of the APE be preserved by avoiding any ground disturbing activities during construction and subsequent use, or if avoidance is not possible, that further testing be conducted to determine significance in terms of National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) eligibility. This recommendation is based on the fact that an area of apparently intact sheet midden occupies much of the southern one half of the property. The tabby plaster was also found in this area; therefore, the entire southern one half of the property is considered potentially significant in terms of archaeological resources. Figure 16 on page 40 shows the area to be protected in relationship to the area that will be impacted by the proposed dock facility.