Archaeological Monitoring

Little Miami Trail, Phase 2


This local-let project involves the construction of a 2.3 mile section of the Little Miami Trail in Hamilton County in an area where several significant cultural resources have been identified, including four National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) prehistoric sites. ODOT required that a pre-qualified archaeologist be present and monitor all earth disturbing activities taking place within the NRHP site boundaries. L&A was selected by the contractor through a competitive bidding process to provide the archaeological monitoring required. While on site, our principal investigator monitored the heavy machinery excavations within the NRHP sites to determine if any sub plow-zone features or human remains were within the areas of impact. A daily journal describing the site conditions in the areas of concern and any cultural resource findings was maintained for later inclusion in project closeout submittals. When prehistoric midden deposits were discovered in the western aspect of the project, L&A halted work and assisted the contractor in notifying the Hamilton County Park District, ODOT District 8 and the ODOT Office of Environmental Services (OES). Through coordination between L&A, the contractor, and the above mentioned entities, a preservation-in-place strategy was employed to allow the Late Woodland/Fort Ancient midden deposits to remain in situ. This strategy involved reducing the overall depth of the required cut in the archaeologically sensitive area, placing geo-textile fabric atop the midden layer, and adding the requisite subgrade materials to further protect buried deposits. It also offered significant time and cost savings to the project over alternative mitigation measures, such as midden excavation.