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An Archaeological Assessment of the Cultural Resources at Mulberry Grove Plantation, Chatham County, Georgia

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This paper reports the results of a 14-week archeological and historical study of a tract of land known traditionally as "Mulberry Grove" or "Mulberry Grove Plantation". The property is located on the Savannah River approximately 15.4 kilometers (9.5 miles) north of the city of, Savannah, in Chatham County, Georgia (see Figure 1). It can be found on the 1955 Port Wentworth Georgia/South Carolina quadrangle map (U.S. Department. of the Interior Geological Survey). Mulberry Grove. presently encompasses 714.41 acres; the approximate center of the tract is at 35,61,000 N and 4,84,000 E in zone, 17 of the Universal Transverse Mercator Grid (see Figure 2). In July 1975 the State. Historic Preservation Officer of Georgia, Jackson O'Neal Lamb, designated a 153acre portion of the Mulberry Grove property as a National Register site of national significance, in accordance with the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Subsequently, Mulberry Grove was purchased by the BASF-Wyandotte Corporation of Parsippany. New Jersey, as part of an industrial site. In view of the possible impact that development may have on the cultural resources at Mulberry Grove, a formal archeological and historical survey was recommended by Lewis H. Larson, Jr., State Archeologist of Georgia, and John R. Morgan, staff archeologist for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. This survey was necessary in order to (1) inventory the historical and archeological resources at Mulberry Grove, (2) define precisely the location and boundaries of the National Register site, and (3) provide recommendations for the future protection, preservation, and/or mitigation of the site. In September 1975 BASF-Wyandotte accordingly began to solicit bids for the survey from various institutions. In October 1975 a research contract was awarded to the University of Florida Department of Anthropology, with Dr. Charles H. Fairbanks as principle investigator. Fairbanks is the senior archeologist at the University of Florida and a respected authority on the prehistoric and historic archeology of the southeastern United States. Under his supervision, Nicholas Honerkamp and Robin L. Smith conducted the research and prepared the written report. Both Honerkamp and Smith are presently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in archeology at the University of Florida. Following recommendations by Larson and Morgan, a research strategy was devised by the University of Florida archeologists which consisted of four main phases: (1) archival and library research, (2) field reconnaissance, (3) laboratory analysis of survey collection., (4) synthesis and final report. These phases were not temporally discreet -for example, library research was pursued before, during, and after the field reconnaissance. The following sections of this paper will describe in detail the results of each research phase.