The Gowanus Remediation Team (GRT) continues with the dredging of soft sediments from RTA-1 under the oversight of the EPA. The dredge material is being processed according to the Level 1 Archaeological Monitoring protocol outlined in the draft Cultural Resource Monitoring Plan (revised September 2020). This protocol calls for dredged soft sediments to be placed directly into scows, floated to the Dredge Material Processing Facility (processing facility), and screened over 4” bars on a vibrating platform. Items removed during the vibratory screening process are then sorted by a processing facility operator as per the Cultural Resource Monitoring Plan. Items of potential interest (possible artifacts or objects of local interests) are placed in a separate stockpile and photographed daily for archaeologists to review. These items are then placed in a holding area for archaeologists to inspect weekly.
An archaeologist conducted a scheduled site visit on 5/11/22 to review the recovered items in person with the assistance of a processing facility machine and operator to sort through stockpiled material. Photographs were taken of stockpiled material and retained items at the processing facility.
The recovered material was spread by machine on a flat hard surface to allow for an archaeologist to review it (Photograph 1). Any item of potential interest was separated, rinsed and assessed. The reviewed material consisted of unsorted and muddy debris comprised largely of large rocks, small pieces of wood and timber miscellaneous metal, tires and car parts (Photograph 2, 3, 4 and 5). Four items identified consisted of three sections of a wooden wagon or cart wheel (Photographs 6, 7, 8) and a large, metal industrial ladle used for pouring liquid (Photograph 9).
Items Separated for Further Review
The archaeologist retained the three different parts of a wooden wagon/cart wheel and large metal industrial ladle. The wagon/cart wheel parts may be of interest, but are not considered artifacts. The industrial ladle may be an artifact. The items were cleaned and the wooden wheel sections will be stored the same way other wooden items of interest are stored.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The archaeologist concludes that the three different parts of a wooden wagon/cart wheel observed during the sediment screening at the processing facility are not considered artifacts although they may be items of interest. However, the industrial ladle may be an artifact and more research is recommended for this item. Per the draft Cultural Resource Monitoring Plan, the items retained are the three wooden/cart items as potential items of interest and the ladle as a potential artifact. The archaeologist further recommends that all the non-historically/archaeologically significant debris at the processing facility has been reviewed by the archaeologist as of 5/11/2022 may be disposed of.