Be A Preservation Hero! – Support The Archaeological Conservancy into 2018

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U.S. Department of Energy representative Todd Stribley (left) and Conservancy President Mark Michel met last year to inspect the property. Credit: The Archaeological Conservancy.
U.S. Department of Energy representative Todd Stribley (left) and Conservancy President Mark Michel met last year to inspect the property. Credit: The Archaeological Conservancy.

Since 1980, we’ve permanently protected over 515 sites in 45 states – sites that otherwise might have been dug up by looters, razed for development, or simply damaged by neglect. We’ve established long term relationships with archaeologists, tribal leaders, farmers and landowners.  Even though we’ve achieved so much, there is still a lot of work to be done.  Be A Preservation Hero! Please GIVE so we can continue this important preservation work. 

We face many more challenges than we did back 37 years ago.  Development continues to grow, demand for artifacts on the black market increases every year with the rise of internet sales, and environmental threats continue to endanger sites that aren’t properly stabilized.

  Your tax-deductible year-end gift of $25, $50, $100 or more will help provide us with the resources to identify, negotiate and acquire sites throughout the country.

This year, the General Fund was instrumental in the preservation of many invaluable sites, including:

  • The McCarty Mound is a Mississippian period (A.D. 1000 – 1500) platform mound that lies about one mile north of the Conservancy’s East Saint Louis Mound Group Preserve, an ongoing project that started in 2006 in Illinois. This mound group, first mapped in 1880, was comprised of about 45 mounds and extended for about a mile in a crescent east of the Mississippi River.  The McCarty Mound is shown on the map and has traditionally been considered a part of the group.  The mound group appears to be a mound and village complex similar to and contemporary with nearby Cahokia, although its relationship to the dominant site is unknown.  Unfortunately, all but one mound disappeared under the once prospering city of East St. Louis.  Even though today the McCarty Mound only rises about three feet above the ground surface, it is the second-best preserved mound of the East St. Louis Mound Group.
  • Meyer Pottery Kiln was established in 1887 by the Meyer family, master potters who immigrated from Germany in 1884. The kiln began as a two-man operation, producing all sizes of jugs and water coolers, churns, crocks, poultry watering fountains, and flower pots.  In 1895 the kiln switched from a salt glaze technique commonly used in Texas to a clay slip glaze technique the family learned in Germany. The slip, mined from clay found at nearby Leon Creek, can be fired from yellow to green to brown tones with finishes from shiny to matte depending on firing conditions. Leon Slip Glaze became a unique hallmark of Meyer Pottery.  Production peaked in the 1920s and ceased in the 1960s.  The 2-acre parcel is covered with glazed bricks and building blocks that formed the foundations and walls of the buildings as well as the kiln’s chimney stack. Future research at the site can tell us more about early American manufacturing and crafts development as well as what life was like in the 19th and early 20th centuries in south Texas. 
  • In 1717 Fort Ouiatenon was established by the French as a fur-trading post on the Wabash River opposite a large village of the Wea. The fort was the first European settlement in what is now Indiana. By 1730 a number of Algonquin-speaking tribes loosely affiliated with the Miami, including the Kickapoo, the Mascouten and the Piankashaw, had established villages outside the fort. The fortunes of the Natives waxed and waned – mostly waned – as the fort passed through French, British and American hands. The villages were finally destroyed by a punitive expedition of Kentucky militia in 1791. The fort itself was abandoned as a military post in 1762, and Euro-American settlers had relocated to more secure locations by the 1780s. The site of the fort is owned by the Tippecanoe County Historical Association (TCHA).  In 2014 the Conservancy and TCHA joined forces to to acquire the adjacent land containing the five Native villages and have preserved three tracts totaling 181-acres over the last two years.

Because of you and other members of The Archaeological Conservancy, we have preserved many sites from damage and destruction in 2017.

These are just a few more of the sites that you helped the Conservancy preserve in 2017:

It’s thought that the Ebbert Spring's historic springhouse could have once served as a private fort. Credit: The Archaeological Conservancy.
It’s thought that the Ebbert Spring’s historic springhouse could have once served as a private fort. Credit: The Archaeological Conservancy.

In the Northeast, we preserved Ebbert Spring, a multi-component site centered around a limestone spring in south-central Pennsylvania. This 8.5-acre site was occupied from Paleo-Indian times until today.

In the Southeast, we protected part of Chickasawba Mounds in northeastern Arkansas.  The site was continuously occupied from the Late Archaic (ca. 3000 – 1500 B.C.) through the Proto-historic periods.

In the Midwest, we preserved Hocking Fort in southeastern Ohio. The 10-acre site is an extraordinary Hopewell Culture hilltop earthwork.  Dating to the Woodland Period, Hocking Fort is similar to well-known Hopewell earthworks, but is much smaller that its colossal counterparts.

In the Southwest, we acquired Tinaja Pueblo in New Mexico.  This 40-acre Proto-Zuni site contains a 160 room masonry pueblo dating to A.D. 1250 – 1300.

In the West, we acquired an archaeological easement on the Terrarium site, a Central Pomo site in California that incorporates five sites over a 360-acre property in Mendocino County.

Without your support and the support of our other members for the General Fund, we could never hope to save sites like these. Next year, we hope to save even more. Help Support the Archaeological Conservancy into 2017 !  It’s your generosity that keeps our cultural legacy alive.

I know that the Conservancy is just one of many organizations asking for your help.  That’s why I hope that as you consider your year-end giving, you’ll feel that the preservation of this great nation’s past is one effort that merits your support.

With my best regards and wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year.

Mark Michel, TAC President

Mark Michel, the president of the Conservancy, walks behind an excavated masonry room. Credit: Jim Walker/The Archaeological Conservancy.
Mark Michel, the president of the Conservancy, walks behind an excavated masonry room. Credit: Jim Walker/The Archaeological Conservancy.
Documenting the many petroglyphs on the Terrarium Site. Photo The Archaeological Conservancy.
Documenting the many petroglyphs on the Terrarium Site in Our Western Region. Photo: The Archaeological Conservancy.

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