Old Mill Geophysical Survey

Salve Regina University, Noreen Stoner Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Program

April 2018

The NHA and Salve Regina University’s Historic Preservation Undergraduate Department, based in Newport RI, collaborated on a special project with unique educational opportunities.

Jon Bernard Marcoux, Ph.D., Director of the Cultural and Historic Preservation Program at Salve Regina University, conducted a Ground Penetrating Radar Survey of the NHA’s Old Mill, assisted by program students Delaney Daly and Josephine Taranto. The three main goals for the survey were as follows:

  1. To determine whether the survey area contains intact archaeological deposits associated with the property’s history;
  2. To identify patterned anomalies that might aid cultural and historic interpretation of the landscape associated with the property; and
  3. To provide the NHA with location data of possible cultural features that can be used to guide future archaeological explorations and help manage cultural resources on the property.
Results of ground penetrating radar survey depicting buried features.

The results of the survey demonstrated that the property likely contains a number of intact cultural features. The investigation identified two possible buried road beds, two possible buried millstones, the circular cobble track used to guide the large mill
cap wheel, an unidentified linear feature, and two filled ditches.

Future archaeological excavations have the potential to improve our understanding of this site, and we anticipate further collaboration with Salve Regina students and faculty.

Salve Regina GPR survey at Old Mill conducted by Dr. Jon Bernard Marcoux and students.
Salve Regina GPR survey at Old Mill conducted by Dr. Jon Bernard Marcoux and students.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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