The Dendroarchaeology Of Cagle Saltpetre Cave: A 19th Century Saltpeter Mining Site In Van Buren County, Tennessee, U.S.A

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/622589
Title:
The Dendroarchaeology Of Cagle Saltpetre Cave: A 19th Century Saltpeter Mining Site In Van Buren County, Tennessee, U.S.A
Author:
Blankenship, Sarah A.; Pike, Meta G.; DeWeese, Georgina G.; Van De Gevel, Saskia L.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of Tennessee; Louisiana Division of Archaeology; Department of Geosciences, University of West Georgia; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, University of Tennessee
Issue Date:
2009-01
Rights:
Copyright © Tree-Ring Society. All rights reserved.
Collection Information:
This item is part of the Tree-Ring Research (formerly Tree-Ring Bulletin) archive. For more information about this peer-reviewed scholarly journal, please email the Editor of Tree-Ring Research at editor@treeringsociety.org.
Publisher:
Tree-Ring Society
Journal:
Tree-Ring Research
Citation:
Blankenship, S.A., Pike, M.G., DeWeese, G.G., van de Gevel, S.L., Grissino-Mayer, H.D., 2009. The dendroarchaeology of Cagel Saltpetre Cave: A Nineteenth Century saltpeter mining site in Van Buren County, Tennessee, U.S.A. Tree-Ring Research 65(1):11-22.
Abstract:
During the historic mining episodes at Cagle Saltpetre Cave, wooden leaching vats needed for the lixiviation of calcium nitrate from mined sediments (from which saltpeter was then produced) were constructed and used in the cave. When mining operations ceased, these features were abandoned and preserved in situ, some remaining virtually intact. Their remarkable preservation enabled tree-ring dating of timbers associated with these vats to be accomplished. Tree rings from oak planks used in the construction of the leaching vats were measured to 0.001 mm precision on a Velmex measuring system. Using COFECHA software, we crossdated the measurement series to both the Norris Dam State Park and Piney Creek Pocket Wilderness white oak reference chronologies, spanning the years from 1633 to 1982, obtained from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank. Graphical comparisons via scatter plots were inspected to ensure correct temporal placements. The final chronology developed from 39 dated series correlated very highly with the Norris Dam State Park reference chronology (r = 0.49, n = 170 yrs, t = 7.29, p < 0.0001) and verified that our site chronology extends from 1692 to 1861. The results of our analyses indicate that saltpeter was mined and processed at the site during separate episodes throughout the 19th Century. Additionally, saltpeter-processing technology changed throughout the course of the mining operations.
Keywords:
Dendrochronology; Tree Rings; Dendroarchaeology; Archaeology; Saltpeter Mining; Southeastern U.S.
ISSN:
2162-4585; 1536-1098
Additional Links:
http://www.treeringsociety.org

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorBlankenship, Sarah A.en
dc.contributor.authorPike, Meta G.en
dc.contributor.authorDeWeese, Georgina G.en
dc.contributor.authorVan De Gevel, Saskia L.en
dc.contributor.authorGrissino-Mayer, Henri D.en
dc.date.accessioned2017-02-16T23:18:13Z-
dc.date.available2017-02-16T23:18:13Z-
dc.date.issued2009-01-
dc.identifier.citationBlankenship, S.A., Pike, M.G., DeWeese, G.G., van de Gevel, S.L., Grissino-Mayer, H.D., 2009. The dendroarchaeology of Cagel Saltpetre Cave: A Nineteenth Century saltpeter mining site in Van Buren County, Tennessee, U.S.A. Tree-Ring Research 65(1):11-22.en
dc.identifier.issn2162-4585-
dc.identifier.issn1536-1098-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/622589-
dc.description.abstractDuring the historic mining episodes at Cagle Saltpetre Cave, wooden leaching vats needed for the lixiviation of calcium nitrate from mined sediments (from which saltpeter was then produced) were constructed and used in the cave. When mining operations ceased, these features were abandoned and preserved in situ, some remaining virtually intact. Their remarkable preservation enabled tree-ring dating of timbers associated with these vats to be accomplished. Tree rings from oak planks used in the construction of the leaching vats were measured to 0.001 mm precision on a Velmex measuring system. Using COFECHA software, we crossdated the measurement series to both the Norris Dam State Park and Piney Creek Pocket Wilderness white oak reference chronologies, spanning the years from 1633 to 1982, obtained from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank. Graphical comparisons via scatter plots were inspected to ensure correct temporal placements. The final chronology developed from 39 dated series correlated very highly with the Norris Dam State Park reference chronology (r = 0.49, n = 170 yrs, t = 7.29, p < 0.0001) and verified that our site chronology extends from 1692 to 1861. The results of our analyses indicate that saltpeter was mined and processed at the site during separate episodes throughout the 19th Century. Additionally, saltpeter-processing technology changed throughout the course of the mining operations.en
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.publisherTree-Ring Societyen
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.treeringsociety.orgen
dc.rightsCopyright © Tree-Ring Society. All rights reserved.en
dc.subjectDendrochronologyen
dc.subjectTree Ringsen
dc.subjectDendroarchaeologyen
dc.subjectArchaeologyen
dc.subjectSaltpeter Miningen
dc.subjectSoutheastern U.S.en
dc.titleThe Dendroarchaeology Of Cagle Saltpetre Cave: A 19th Century Saltpeter Mining Site In Van Buren County, Tennessee, U.S.Aen_US
dc.typeArticleen
dc.typetexten
dc.contributor.departmentDepartment of Anthropology, University of Tennesseeen
dc.contributor.departmentLouisiana Division of Archaeologyen
dc.contributor.departmentDepartment of Geosciences, University of West Georgiaen
dc.contributor.departmentLaboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, University of Tennesseeen
dc.identifier.journalTree-Ring Researchen
dc.description.collectioninformationThis item is part of the Tree-Ring Research (formerly Tree-Ring Bulletin) archive. For more information about this peer-reviewed scholarly journal, please email the Editor of Tree-Ring Research at editor@treeringsociety.org.en
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