Impact Assessment and Mitigation Strategies
It is always preferable to avoid or mitigate impacts to historically significant resources. Over the years PAST has developed many creative solutions for eliminating or minimizing adverse effects on archaeological sites, historical landscapes, buildings and standing structures.
The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection planned improvements to the late 19th-century Putnam Memorial State Park. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Connecticut's first State Archaeological Preserve, the park commemorates soldiers of the American Revolution, who camped here in the winter of 1778-79 ; archaeological remains of the encampment are present. The park itself is significant for its early-park period design, which is deliberately rustic in order to honor quietly those who fought for our freedom. PAST's intensive investigations identified archaeological sites within the project area but impact to the sites will be avoided through a combination of design changes and archaeological monitoring during construction. We also assisted the project design team in developing improvements which are sympathetic in character with the original park landscape and structures and with the intent of the park founders.
On the floodplain of the Pootatuck River in Newtown we identified a very large Late and Terminal Archaic period site within the footprint of a proposed sewage treatment plant. Complete avoidance of the site was not possible but, working closely with project engineers, we delineated the most sensitive areas and the plant was redesigned to avoid them. The result is a serpentine-shaped plant, preserved sites, and a permanent local exhibit on the project.
On the side of State Route 20 in East Granby sits a small foundation obscured by brush. Identified in a reconnaissance survey as a tenant farmhouse, we found the house to have been occupied by the family of John Jackson, an African-American farm laborer who probably worked on one of the area's tobacco farms. The foundation was stabilized with gravel fill and CONNDOT avoided it during project construction. We then prepared a successful National Register nomination, documentation to establish the site as a State Archaeological Preserve, and a Web site exhibit (www.past-inc.org/TenantHouse). A public-oriented booklet on the site is in production.
A detailed view of other services we offer:
Archaeological Reconnaissance Surveys
Intensive Archaeological and Historical Studies
Data Recovery / Excavation Projects
National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmark Documentation
Laboratory Services and Artifact Conservation
State- and Federal-Level Historic Documentation
Public Outreach Programs
Educational Outreach and Curriculum Development