Between November 2004, and June 2007, CRA conducted survey, testing, and data recovery programs to identify, assess, and mitigate impacts to the cultural resources affected by the expansion of the Argosy Casino gaming facility in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. This large scale development project covered portions of 12 city lots in downtown Lawrenceburg and about 1,000 meters adjacent to the Ohio River. The planned development included a multi-level parking facility, multiple surface lots, and a large boat slip. Archaeological work included the examination of portions of two large, multi-component prehistoric sites and twenty-three historic sites. Beyond demonstrating CRA’s ability to efficiently complete large-scale projects, this project stands as an excellent example of CRA’s ability to coordinate with construction efforts allowing, as much as possible, a seamless work effort.
Prehistoric investigations associated with the casino expansion project identified, evaluated, and recovered samples of multiple short-term occupations associated with the Late Archaic, Early Woodland, Middle Woodland, Late Woodland, and Late Prehistoric Periods. Prehistoric fieldwork included the hand-excavation of over 2,000 square meters resulting in the identification and excavation of over 200 prehistoric cultural features and the recovery of a wide variety of prehistoric ceramics and lithics. Identified features consisted primarily of small ephemeral basins and cooking hearths, but also included earth ovens, lithic and ceramic concentrations, and post molds. These prehistoric features and the recovered prehistoric artifacts together are indicative of a variety of activities taking place in the Ohio River floodplain from about 6,000 to about 1,000 years ago.
The historic investigations within the city of Lawrenceburg studied an intense residential and light industrial occupation in the Northern Liberties neighborhood beginning around the 1840s. Highlights of the excavation were intact features dating to the earliest residents of the neighborhood; over 18 house foundations were examined, as well as over 50 privies. This data has provided information about the early immigrants in the area and how the neighborhood changed throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It has presented clues about differences and similarities between economic classes and ethnicities of the residents, and how the history was related to the changing local transportation network.