The isolated find concept and its consequences in public archaeology

by Jesse Morton

Institution: Mississippi State University
Department: Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures
Degree: MA
Year: 2015
Keywords: archaeological field methods; archaeological survey; National Register of Historic Places; historic significance; fine screen; archaeology; archaeological sampling; classification; siteless survey; CRM; cultural resource management
Record ID: 2061682
Full text PDF: http://sun.library.msstate.edu/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-03312015-120720/


The term isolated find has frequently been taken as a disposable artifact category in cultural resource management (CRM). Efforts were made to empirically demonstrate the fallacy of this concept and its use, using modified field sampling strategies, the inclusion of fine screen artifact analysis, and statistical analyses. Six sites containing prehistoric occupations on Camp McCain National Guard base in Grenada County, Mississippi were reinvestigated using these methods; their datasets were expanded in terms of site size, density, function, and temporal association, which may change their eligibility status for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Fieldwork and classification based solutions are offered to account for biases introduced by current standard methods of sampling and site delineation during Phase I archaeological survey.