Northeast Historical Archaeology


Michael J. Gall


Analysis of soil pH and anthropogenic multi-element chemical residue distribution patterns has proved a valuable prospecting method for locating areas of concentrated human and/or domesticated-animal activity within archaeological sites. The application, analysis, and results of a geochemical study at the Foundation site (28MO352), a significant ca. 1733 to 1790s farmstead site in Manalapan Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey, is presented as a case study. Multi-element geochemical analysis using Mehlich-3 and ICP-AES was employed as a critical, cost-efficient method to aid in targeting areas for intensive excavation. The method enabled the identification of numerous activity areas and buried cultural features, assisted in the recovery of significant site data, and provided a richer understanding of the site’s historical occupants.