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No serious damage had been done to the mound, although a few small pits had been dug into it in past years. Recently it had been fenced off as part of an area used for breeding hogs (see fig. 2). Permission to excavate this mound was readily given by the owner, Mrs. Perry Barrett of Dover, on condition that the mound be completely removed and the earth from it used to fill low spots in the adjacent area. These low spots may have been borrow pits from which the earth for the building of this mound had been obtained. EXCAVATION Investigation of the Dover Mound was begun May 6, 1950. Before the actual excavation was commenced, the mound was cleared of fences and all trees except a few large ones on its skirt far enough from the area not to obstruct the operation of the trucks. An east-west baseline was established over the highest point in the mound, which was then staked in five-foot squares right and left from this line. Excavation was begun on the western edge of the mound (see fig. 3). The profiles were revealed by taking down five-foot cuts north to south, the earth being shoveled into dump trucks and hauled away (see figs. 4 and 5). Work was continued until September l, when the profiles were banked and the mound was put in condition for the winter (see fig. 6). Excavation was resumed June 12, 1951, and was completed August 21. A benchmark was established southwest of the mound by driving down a heavy stake at a point which seemed to represent the original level of the flood plain. All elevations were thereafter recorded as above or below this benchmark. When staked, the mound was found to be 11 0 feet wide east-west, and 120 feet wide north-south at the level of the benchmark, and to have a maximum elevation above this level of 17.3 feet. However, it was soon discovered that to reach the base of the mound, i.e., undisturbed earth of an old forest floor, it was necessary that the vertical cuts on the western side of the mound be extended to a depth of 2.7 feet below the level of the benchmark. The total height of the mound at the time of excavation, therefore, was 20 feet. 3 4 Fig. 2. The Dover Mound before clearing, showing its use as a hog pasture. It thus appeared that at some time after the mound had been built, a river flood had deposited on this flood plain about the western side of the mound base a layer of sand and silt containing many Pleistocene gravels and river pebbles. Since the time of this flood deposit, the mound, whatever its original height, had been eroded to its present height of 17.3 feet above the surrounding terrain. It was once much higher than this, as shown by a widespread skirt of sandy loam, containing charred and burned stone, which extended in all directions about the mound base. The fact that the original floor on which the mound was erected was so much lower than the surrounding surface on the side where excavation began presented a difficult engineering problem to obtain natural drainage of rainwater away from the excavation. This was done by leaving a portion of the mound base unexcavated during the first field season; during the second field season, when the mound base was to be cleared, drainage trenches were dug to sump holes to carry away the rainfall. ...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780813165141
Related ISBN
9780813155630
MARC Record
OCLC
900345039
Pages
80
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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