Back to top

Intensive Archeological Survey of the Undeveloped Portions of Reynolds Plantation, Greene and Putnam Counties, Georgia

Report Number
Year of Publication

Southeastern Archeological Services, Inc. conducted an intensive archeological survey of undeveloped property for Reynolds Plantation during July and August 1997. The survey area, located in Greene and Putnam Counties, Georgia consisted of approximately 1860 acres on several tracts within and surrounding the Reynolds Plantation golf and housing development on Lake Oconee. The surveyed tracts included property owned by Reynolds Plantation and property being acquired for future development. The property was formerly known as the horseshoe bend or "bend" area of the Oconee River and during the twentieth century as the Lingerlonger Plantation. All surveyed areas will be considered for development; however, design plans will consider significant cultural resources as elements of the future landscape. The project tract was surveyed by crews of four to six field archeologists under the supervision of R. Jerald Ledbetter. The project area consisted primarily of woodlands and recently timbered lands which afforded generally poor surface exposure. In areas where surface exposure was poor (generally less than 20 percent) shovel tests were placed at 30 in intervals across landforms that had the potential for containing archeological sites. The survey recorded 161 field sites (Table 1) and 41 low density artifact occurrences within the project area (Figure 1). Occurrences are defined as sparse artifact scatters found on the surface (fewer than six artifacts) or in a single shovel test with less than three artifacts. The identified sites provide evidence of intensive utilization of the area during the prehistoric and historic periods. Artifacts recovered from aboriginal sites range in age from approximately 9000 B.C. to A.D. 1600. Historic sites include the remains of initial frontier settlement of the 1790s through the mid-twentieth century. Thirteen sites within the survey area had been recorded by previous surveys. Archeological sites have been preliminarily sorted into three categories of significance for purposes of cultural resource management. The categories of 1) eligible, 2) ineligible, and 3) potentially eligible refer to our recommendations of eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Sites recommended eligible retain substantial evidence of further research potential, and thus meet National Register criterion d. Two sites, 9GE35 and 9GE37, have been previously recommended as eligible to the National Register as the result of earlier investigations relating to construction of Lake Oconee, and we concur with this assessment. 9GE35 is a prehistoric mound site and village and 9GE37 is the remains of the nineteenth century Curtright Factory mill village. Sites listed as ineligible lack the research potential that would qualify them under National Register criterion d. They are too disturbed or contain deposits that are too sparse to warrant further study. A third category was used for sites that could not be conclusively demonstrated to be eligible or ineligible at this level of survey. These sites were placed into a potentially eligible category. Further investigation to firmly determine eligibility status is recommended. for all potentially eligible category sites. Further field investigations would include a grid of shovel tests to define the most sensitive areas of sites and formal, controlled, archeological test pits which will provide larger artifact samples and define stratigraphy. The combination of shovel tests and test pits provides an efficient means of retrieving information needed to examine site-wide artifact distributions and the integrity of cultural deposits. Test excavations should be limited in scope but must be of sufficient scope to allow an adequate determination of eligibility. Historic sites will require detailed mapping and archival research. Figure 2 shows eligible and potentially eligible sites in the project area.