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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some land near Stockton Lake and in the greater Kansas City areas of Smithville and Longview. The Army wanted to know what kind of cultural resources were located in these areas. KSMU’s Ryan Welch reports on the Stockton Lake findings.
The Army contracted with Statistical Research, Inc., to find out what these areas have, archaeologically speaking. MSU’s Center for Archaeological Research won a subcontract from S.R.I. for about $300,000. The funding from this contract came from the federal government stimulus monies.
Jack Ray is a research archaeologist at the Center for Archaeological Research.
“Prior to this act, the Corps did not have any monies to do an investigation to find out what kinds of sites were located on their land. So, for the first time, it gave us an opportunity, archaeologists, to go in and find that out. It stimulated us as an institution at Missouri State in that it employed us for a period of more than a year,” said Ray.
Ray says that he and his survey crew lived near Stockton Lake for the month of June of this year. Ray is talking about a team of archaeologists that went to Stockton State Park to carry out what they call a Phase I survey. Ray says his team found 35 sites with artifacts, about half of which were determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Each potential archaeological site has three phases—Phase I is what’s called a cultural research survey of the land to locate and record the sites that have historic or prehistoric artifacts. To do this, the team collects samples and analyzes them in the lab. Then, the team determines what kinds of sites were located on the land. Phase II involves basic testing of the site, and Phase III is a large scale excavation. Phase I is the only part that was covered under the 2010 funding. No further phases will take place on these sites, unless there are plans for any kind of construction on the site.
What happens next depends on what the Army Corps of Engineers wants to do with the land on which the sites are located.
For KSMU News, I’m Ryan Welch.