Intensive Archaeological and Historical Studies
Intensive archaeological and historical studies are designed to ascertain the significance of a property or site relative to the criteria for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. PAST has an established reputation for exceptionally thorough intensive surveys and we have been called upon by state agencies to handle particularly difficult projects.
In 1780 a contingent of the French Army arrived in America to provide much-needed assistance against the British in the Revolutionary War. After wintering in Rhode Island in 1781, the army marched across Connecticut to New York, where it joined the forces of General Washington. Following the defeat of the British at Yorktown in October 1781, the French, led by General Rochambeau, made a return march through Connecticut in 1782. The locations of the march route and campsites were known only as local traditions. PAST, working for the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office, designed and executed a strategy for identifying and confirming the route and camps. Through intensive map and document research we were able to fix the route on today's landscape; and in the process we discovered numerous vestigial road segments that have historic integrity. We were also successful in establishing an "archaeological signature" for the campsites and in confirming the surviving encampment locations. PAST prepared a successful multiple-property National Register nomination for the route remnants, campsites and related components of the march, and one of the encampments has been designated a State Archaeological Preserve. Our Rochambeau Project has been commended by the National Park Service, which recently launched a study of the entire march route. PAST has been hired to continue the project in New York state, work currently in progress.
The Old New-Gate Prison and Copper Mine, in East Granby, Connecticut, is significant as one of the earliest large-scale attempts at copper mining in the United States, as Connecticut's first state prison, and as an early attempt to operate a relatively humane prison. PAST, in association with Raber Associates, was selected by the Connecticut Historical Commission to survey and evaluate archaeological sensitivity at this National Historic Landmark, and to prepare management recommendations for future site development, use, and interpretation. We developed detailed chronologies of the site, established historic contexts of mining and American prisons, and generated a set of research questions with potential for signigicant new historical and interpretive information. In addition to intensive document research, subsurface testing and artifact analysis, our team geologist conducted a seismic refraction survey and an historical metallurgist analyzed mining samples to elucidate activity areas at the site, which is in ruins today.
A detailed view of other services we offer:
Archaeological Reconnaissance Surveys
Data Recovery / Excavation Projects
Impact Assessment and Mitigation Strategies
Laboratory Services and Artifact Conservation
National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmark Documentation
State- and Federal-Level Historic Documentation
Public Education Programs
Educational Outreach and Curriculum Development