Hackensack Meadowlands Cultural Resources Survey
Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey
Cultural resources investigations were undertaken at ten environmental restoration locations within the Hackensack Meadowlands pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. A major component of the study was the review and synthesis of archaeological, geoarchaeological, and palynological research that has been undertaken on the complex and still somewhat poorly understood environmental development of the Hackensack Meadowlands since the end of the Wisconsin glaciation.
Following limited subsurface testing, historical, topographic and paleoenvironmental data were used to develop a cultural resource sensitivity ranking for the ten sites. From this ranking, a palynological/geoarchaeological testing strategy and protocol was developed which takes into account the potential of the sites and the likely impact of the proposed restoration actions on any cultural resources.
The study concluded that the potentially most significant resources in the remediation areas are the submerged environmental context and cultural indices of human activity from the colonial period back to the Late Archaic and beyond. These range from anthropogenic vegetation changes discernible in plant macrofossil and pollen assemblages to more conventional concentrations of portable artifacts and features at particular locations.