GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 21-13
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


BRADLEY-LEWIS, Neeshell1, COWAN, Ellen A.1, SERAMUR, Keith C.1 and COSTA, January W.2, (1)Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Appalachian State University, P.O. Box 32067, Boone, NC 28608, (2)Lincoln County Historical Association, Lincoln County Museum of History, 403 East Main Street, Lincolnton, NC 28092

Lincoln County in the southern North Carolina Piedmont has a rich history dating from the American Revolution. In the rolling hills to the east, a two-story brick mansion built in 1817 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places is all that remains of Ingleside Plantation that once was more than 5,000-acres. General Peter Forney a member of the state militia, legislator and wealthy iron producer originally owned the land. His son, Daniel Forney built the house in 1817 and lived there for 17 years before selling it and moving to Alabama. In our study, we investigated the area immediately surrounding the mansion using ground penetrating radar (GPR) to detect evidence of contemporary structures. We used historical research of period homes and archival photographs to ground truth the detected GPR anomalies with the goal of providing a rationale for planning future archaeological excavations.

In July 2018, we collected 12 grids (3266 m2) in open areas on the south and west sides of the mansion using a Geophysical Survey Systems SIR-3000 Single Channel GPR data acquisition system with 400 MHz antenna. GPR Slice® was used to process the data and produce 3-D block diagrams of each survey grid. Anomalies of historical significance are either rectangular or circular and can be distinguished from the underlying foliated metamorphic bedrock. A 13 x 7 m rectangular anomaly was imaged in the same orientation, 8 m behind Ingleside. This is interpreted to represent the footprint of an older house, perhaps belonging to Jacob Forney Sr. Within this structure a high amplitude reflector covering a 4 x 6 m area, at a depth of 0.8 m below the existing ground surface, is interpreted as a stone or brick-lined cellar. Four distinct reflection-free anomalies outline the possible footprint of a rectangular 5 x 9 m kitchen west of the mansion. These anomalies extend to 0.8 m depth. The structure lies next to a pile of boulders that were formerly chimney stones. Adjacent to the kitchen is a 25 x 15 m area with plow scars in the upper 20 cm suggesting the location of a kitchen garden. Behind the mansion, several small rectangular reflection-free anomalies appear to penetrate through the residual soils up to a meter in depth suggesting the location of privies. This project illustrates the benefit of combining geophysics with historical archaeology to interpret the past.