A Resource Inventory I and II study of the Georgia Power Company study area at the Barnett Shoals Hydroelectric project in Clarke and Oconee counties, Georgia was carried out between December 17, 1985 and February 12, 1986. The study area comprises approximately 120 acres along a three mile stretch of the Oconee River from just below Barnett Shoals station to just above Barnett's Bridge. The 100% field survey coverage of this area involved primarily deep shovel testing along alluvial features, as the entire area was forested to some extent. When possible surface collections were made from exposed bank cuts and roads.
The field phase identified 20 cultural properties and 3 isolated finds. The horizontal extent and vertical character of each property was assessed in the field (when possible). Because of the excellent preservation in the study area, 17 of these properties were determined to contain potentially significant archaeological resources. Analysis of the materials recovered and report preparation began following the field phase and was completed with the submission of this report.
The report is organized into four major data categories. Chapter II, Field and Laboratory Methods, presents research methods employed on this project.
Chapter III, Environmental Context, discusses the physiography, climate, fauna and flora, paleoenvironment, and soils that are present in or near the study area. This section was derived from published data, since the field crew did not include environmentally trained staff.
Chapter IV, Prehistoric Cultural Context, presents an overview of prehistoric research in Piedmont Georgia and South Carolina. The data presented were collected during a background literature and records search at the Georgia State Site Files (located at the Laboratory of Archaeology, University of Georgia, Athens), the files of the State Historic Preservation Officer (Atlanta), the State Archives (Atlanta), the Surveyor General's Office (Atlanta), and libraries at the University of Georgia (Athens) and Georgia State University (Atlanta). This chapter also contains a discussion of temporal placements of prehistoric components recovered from the Marshall Tract survey, in the flood plain and uplands adjacent to the Barnett Shoals area, as well as other research conducted in the Piedmont of Georgia and South Carolina.
Chapter V, Historic Context, presents a general overview of the historic period occupation of the region. Specific sections of this chapter discuss the development of water powered industry in the area and the history of Star Thread Mill, a potentially significant resource identified before the study began.
Chapter VI, Results, describes and discusses the cultural properties and isolated finds identified during this study. Temporal placement, functional dimensions, spatial distribution, environmental location, and degree of preservation are addressed in this discussion. Criteria for eligibility to the National Register of Historic Places are included under each appropriate cultural property /isolated find. Potential or current sources of adverse impact are also presented in this chapter. Chapter VII presents a brief summary of cultural properties and isolated finds, and their cultural contexts.