Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Threatened! Junction Group in Ross County

Hello Everyone,

             As usual here in the US, archaeological sites are under constant threat of development. The laws aren't as strong here as they are in Europe for protecting heritage sites especially from developers. Part of this stems from we are colonizers of this land, Native Americans are not a part of many of our ancestries. If these were the sites of the American Revolution, or the Civil War, then maybe this conversation would be different. Actually, I know it would be. But here we are sitting at the eve of the possible destruction of a very large earthworks in Chillicothe, Ohio. This site represents the most intact Hopewell earthwork complexes not bisected by roads or development. Here is a link to the article: http://www.chillicothegazette.com/article/20140308/NEWS01/303080032/Conservancies-hoping-preserve-earthworks

I have included the text from the email I recieved today. Please read it and decide for yourself if this site is worth protecting. Please donate to help save it.

Archaeology Dude

Here is a link on how you can help:

Squire and Davis from earthworksconservancy.org
Results of Jarrod Burk's geophysical survey of the site, overlaid on a satellite image from .chillicothegazette.com

One of Ohio's major earthwork sites is threatened: the Junction Group in Ross County. It was made famous by Squier and Davis's map of the site from the 1840s. It is going to auction on March 18th and a consortium of organizations are working together to purchase it. A few years back another Squier and Davis site, Spruce Hill went up for auction, and it was saved through a similar effort that came through with a lot of wonderful support...we are attempting to do the same sort of thing now with the Junction Group.

Junction Group is a collection of nine small-to-medium sized enclosures, including Ohio's only known quatrefoil, found during a magnetic survey in 2005. The site covers about 20-25 acres but is part of a 89.4-acre field, and this is the parcel we need to buy if we are to save the site. The earthworks are located just at the SW edge of Chillicothe in an field with road frontage and nearby city water and sewage--in other words, a housing development could very likely destroy the earthworks if developers buy the land.

The Heartland Earthworks Conservancy (HEC) is one of the organizations leading the charge on the Save the Junction Group campaign. At this point we are seeking donation pledges, not actual money yet. Our goal is to get a grant to cover most of the cost of the acreage, but such grants require matching funds. This is where we all can make a difference! We need to raise the money to cover the matching funds. The grant application is underway and there is a good chance we will get the grant. While we would love to make an offer before the auction, we may be going to auction to make this purchase and this is why we are asking for pledges rather than money donations. This worked great for Spruce Hill, and we think it will work well again for Junction.

Please visit the HEC website (www.earthworksconservancy.org) for more information about the Junction Group, to see the 2005 magnetic data, and to make a pledge. Every bit helps and we greatly appreciate your support!


Jarrod Burks, President
Heartland Earthworks Conservancy

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Gas wells threatening region's archaeological sites - heraldstandard.com: New Today

Gas wells threatening region's archaeological sites - heraldstandard.com: New Today

Gas wells threatening region's archaeological sites

By Joyce Koballa


A pipeline installed for natural gas drilling operations that
runs through the middle of a farm on the north fork of Ten Mile Creek in Washington County is threatening the land, according to a Greene County archeologist who goes there to find artifacts and hunt.
The property is just one of many in southwestern Pennsylvania on the radar of Ken Gayman of Carmichaels, who is pushing
to protect archeological sites that he believes are being damaged or
destroyed by oil and gas extraction operations.

“There are no provisions in the Oil and Gas Act
to protect any archaeological and historic sites,” said Gayman. “Some date back 8,000 years.”

John Nass, anthropology professor at California University of Pennsylvania, called the potential disturbance of artifacts “a pressing issue.”
“It’s a major problem,” said Marc Henshaw, former president of the Mon-Yough Archaeological Society and member of its board of trustees.
Henshaw said that some oil and gas companies are not conducting property surveys before they drill, which is impacting archaeological sites.
He added the DEP doesn’t require property surveys when a company is drilling on a parcel of land that is less than 5
acres. That creates a problem when gas and oil companies purchase
numerous acres and split them into smaller parcels, Henshaw said.

Hundreds of archaeological investigations are conducted yearly in Pennsylvania, in compliance with the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act and the Pennsylvania History Code, according
to the state Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), which evaluates various sites for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
“However, most gas well development sites fall outside of federal or state law and policy when it comes to historic and archaeological resources,” the PHMC website reports.
Proposed gas drilling projects do not come to PHMC for review to determine if they will have an impact on historic and archaeological resources — unless the projects involve a federal permit, or an area that is more than 10 acres, according to the site.
“As a result, neither the developers nor the PHMC
are aware of historic and archaeological resources that could be
impacted by such projects,” according to the PHMC site.

Gayman said drilling companies should hire a certified archaeologist to survey a property before constructing any
well pads, compressor stations, impoundment ponds used to store water, pipelines and roads leading to them to determine that they are not destroying any archaeological or historical sites.

“I recommend a provision be adopted in the Oil and Gas Act to protect these sites for myself and all the people in Pennsylvania,” said Gayman.
A member of several historical and archaeological organizations in Washington and Greene counties, Gayman serves as president of Izaak Walton League of America Shawnee Chapter of Washington County.
Additionally, Gayman chairs the Historic and
Esthetic program for the Shawnee Chapter of Washington County and the Harry Enstrom Chapter of Greene County.

“My concern is if they do it, then do it the right way so they don’t pollute the water and destroy archaeological sites,” said Gayman, who is also a member of the Mon-Yough Archaeological Society of Pennsylvania Chapter 3.