In support of the City of New Smyrna Beach's construction of new water lines along South Riverside Drive, a Phase II Cultural Resource Assessment Survey (CRAS) of the area of potential effect (APE) was conducted based on findings of a previous archaeological survey and recent monitoring of construction activities by a professional archaeological consulting firm. The purpose of the Phase II project was to identify and assess a possible British-Period feature reported to have been uncovered during construction activities, to salvage artifacts before they would be destroyed by construction, and to assess the eligibility of the site for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
The Indian River Anthropological Society assisted Thomas Penders and Associates with the excavations conducted in July 2007. A 1 x 3 m (3 x 10 ft) trench, oversized test unit 90 x 100 cm (2.9 x 3 ft), and a standard-sized shovel test (50 cm2 or 1.6 ft2) were excavated at the site. The project was hampered from the beginning by the lack of concrete data as to the exact location of the British period feature that had been seen during earlier utilities excavation. Excavations were conducted in the area using the verbal accounts of the feature location.
The archaeological excavations determined there was a disturbed shell midden containing prehistoric cultural material along with artifacts from the eighteenth through twentieth centuries. Interestingly, there was a prehistoric feature intact at the base of this midden that extended below the midden deposit. This feature is thought to be a St. Johns Period cooking pit. The presence of British Period artifacts leaves no doubt there was a Turnbull Colony component at or within close proximity to the excavation area.
View of excavation area. Crew excavating units. Crew screening soil. Exposed shell midden. Old Stone Wharf located adjacent to excavation site. Monument at the Old Stone Wharf. Prehistoric fire pit Photos by Thomas E. Penders
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