Archaeology

The 2000 Surface Exploration

To fulfill requirements determined by the Army Corps of Engineers for permitting issuance, the developer, Mr. Timothy Pasch, retained the firm of John Milner Associates. Inc. (JMA), of West Chester, PA, to proceed with a Phase I archaeological survey of the entire tract that was impacted by the development plans. Wade Catts and Daniel Roberts oversaw this work. The field crew consisted of Bryan Corle, Ian Henry, and Kerri Holland. Juliette Gerhart directed laboratory analysis and coordinated informant interviews.

The scope of work for this examination included the entire upper field where the 1979 excavation had been done, as well as the band of trees and steep, terraced slope to the upper field's south, and the lower field to the north, and down slope of the upper field and terraces. While the area of exploration was far broader than the 1979 work, the methodologies involved yielded only general information and fewer artifacts. This is because activities were limited to field walking and surface collection, and to the digging of a modest number (24) of test pits.

Before the areas were examined, both fields were disc-plowed. All areas were next field walked, and any surface artifacts were marked with surveyor's flags to note their provenance. JMA found 334 surface artifacts. Their locations were mapped and plotted by the use of a Topcon Total Station laser transit. Promising areas were also examined with metal detectors. The 24 test pits, or shove l test units (STU's) were dug in the wooded area south of the 1979 excavation, along the upper field's west side, in the wooded area terraces, and in the lower field. These pits averaged 1.1 to 1.5 ft. in depth. The site's soils were tested and described, and overall photographs of the site were taken. The artifacts that were retrieved were processed in the laboratory facilities, and analyzed accordingly.

The spring, 2000 explorations yielded some interesting outcomes. The field crew confirmed, by their pedestrian survey, that the northwestern corner of the upper field help a high concentration of artifacts. They also noticed a reddish stain in the soil associated with that general area that had gone undetected in 1979. This may have been due to the times of year the respective examinations occurred. The field examination included a much more detailed look at the terraced hillside, and it was hypothesized that these terraces may have included prisoners' huts, aligned in a manner similar to a camp known to have existed in upper Manhattan that was designed by the British as winter quarters. The field crew also identified stone deposits in the terrace area, and three features in the lower field that may have been wells dug in association with the prison camp. While a wide range of artifacts were recovered (from Camp-era ceramic to last year's golf balls), their ages fell into two main categories: artifacts of the same time period that had been excavated in 1979, and artifacts from the early 19th century. There were Aboriginal artifacts recovered from the lower field as well, but the nature of that occupation and artifact distribution was not fully determined.

The conclusion of the 2000 fieldwork generated a site report that attempted, in part, to more finely delineate the boundaries of the "site" of Camp Security. As the vast majority of the record of the Camp lies in the field's subsoil, and as the vast majority of JMA's work was confined to the examination and plotting of surface finds, there remains a major discrepancy as to the opinions concerning the actual location of Camp Security. The Corps of Engineers, PHMC, Historic York, Inc., and the other consulting parties immediately questioned the site boundaries as proposed by JMA. How much of Camp Security remains and where it is actually located, remains to be determined. There, therefore, remains the need for large scale and systematic exploration of the hillsides and terraces in the general area.

Much of this information was drawn from "A Phase I Archaeological Survey of the Proposed Hunters Crossing Development: The Site of Camp Security/Indulgence (36Yo46) Springettsbury Township, York County, PA" by Wade Catts and Daniel Roberts, JMA, 2000


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