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In August and September, 1986, the Jeffrey L. Brown Institute of Archaeology, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, conducted a systematic subsurface archaeological survey of a 2.5 km (1.5 mile) corridor along the left bank of the Tennessee River, Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee. The survey was funded by the RiverCity Company, Chattanooga, a non-profit corporation overseeing the implementation of a plan to create a public recreation facility known as the Tennessee Riverpark. As part of the final planning of the Phase I area of the Riverpark, environmental impact studies of the project area were commissioned. The project area extends from the C. B. Robinson Bridge off Amnicola Highway to the Tennessee Valley Authority's Chickamauga Dam. The archaeological survey of the Riverpark Phase I project area was conducted by using a power soil auger to drill test cores at 80° (25 meter) intervals in grid and linear patterns to a depth not exceeding 5.5'. The fill from the auger tests was sifted using 1/4 inch mesh screens for standardized artifact recovery. Testing was confined to the proposed project area. Excepting modern debris, the cultural materials recovered from subsurface contexts consisted of prehistoric artifacts from the Late Archaic, Woodland and Mississippian periods. A thin scatter of artifacts is present along the entire length of the project area but two concentrations of debris were noted and tested by hand-excavated test units 3' by 6° in size. One concentration represented a Woodland period occupation superimposed on a Late Archaic component; this site has been designated 40HA233 in the Tennessee archaeological site file. The second concentration was a Woodland occupation previously recorded as site 40HA102 by the Tennessee Department of Transportation in 1979. Mississippian ceramics were present above the Woodland midden. A second previously-recorded site in the project area, 40HA83, situated behind Chattanooga State Technical Community College, was not sampled in the auger survey. It is recommended that the sites noted on each side of the C. B. Robinson Bridge be preserved and protected from construction impacts during development of the Tennessee Riverpark. If preservation of the sites is not feasible, further evaluation in the form of a secondary archaeological testing program is recommended. Since the project area landforms consist of alluvially-aggrading river terraces, there exists the possibility of deeply-buried Archaic occupations not detected by the auger survey. Monitoring of any deep excavations undertaken in the course of construction is recommended.


Dept. of Social, Cultural, and Justice Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)




Archaeology -- Tennessee -- Hamilton County; Antiquities; Archaeology; Hamilton County (Tenn.) -- Antiquities; Tennessee -- Hamilton County


Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Document Type



iv, 44 leaves



Call Number

F444.C46 C686 1986


An archaeological survey of the phase I Riverpark development, Chattanooga, Tennessee