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Archaeological Testing of Two Cultural Properties, Gp-Sn-03 and Gp-Sn-05, in Screven County, Georgia on the Proposed Vogtle-Effingham-Thalmann Electric Transmission Line

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Archaeological testing and data recovery planning studies were conducted within the Designated Work Areas (DWAs) at two cultural properties, GP-SN-03 and GP-SN-05, Screven County, Georgia. The testing was performed as part of the resource management plan for the proposed Georgia Power Vogtle-Effingham-Thalmann Electric Transmission Line. Excavation of 14 two by two meter units within the DWA at GP-SN-03 revealed that the major occupation occurred during the middle woodland Period. There was also evidence of middle Archaic, Late Archaic, Late Mississippian, and late eighteenth to early nineteenth century occupations in the DWA. These components appear to be vertically stratified, and horizontal patterning of artifacts was also noted. The Middle Woodland occupation was represented by Deptford Simple Stamped ceramics and associated lithic tools and debitage. A cluster of Deptford Simple Stamped sherds was radiocarbon dated to 1515 +/- 60 years B.P. (A. D. 440). This occupation has been tentatively interpreted as part of a small settlement, where food preparation and storage, secondary lithic reduction, and stone tool manufacture occurred. The excavation of two large block units is recommended for data recovery within the DWA at this property. Excavation of 18 two by two meter units within the DWA at GP-SN-05 revealed that the major occupations occurred during the Late Archaic and Woodland Periods. There was no evidence of occupation during the Paleo-Indian, Early Archaic, or middle Archaic Periods. No vertical cultural stratigraphy was evident in the alluvial, artifact-bearing sands, but horizontal patterning was noted. The Late Archaic Period occupation was apparently ephemeral, represented by limited numbers of Gary and Savannah River projectile points and Stallings Island fiber tempered pottery. An apparent Early to Middle Woodland occupation was evidenced by diagnostic projectile points and ceramics including Deptford Simple Stamped, Deptford Check Stamped, and Deptford Cord Marked types. Three cultural features were discovered, two of which appear to be hearths and were located in an area of high Early to Middle Woodland artifact density. One of these two possible hearths was radiocarbon dated to 1370 +/- 90 years B.P. (A.D. 585), and the other was radiocarbon dated to 2040 +/130 B.P. (90 B.C.). The Early to Middle Woodland occupation has been tentatively interpreted as a small Deptford village where a wide range of subsistence and maintenance activities took place. The excavation of two large blocks is recommended for data recovery within the DWA at this property.