Experienced. Cost‑effective. Responsive. Woman-owned.

Construction along levee

Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency

Natomas Levee Improvements Program, Landside Improvements Project

Archaeological surveys utilizing innovative techniques were designed to identify buried prehistoric resources before the start of construction, avoiding lengthy delays and saving public funds on a high-profile public works project.

Garden Highway along on Landside Improvements Project Route

Scanned ArtifactsIn the mid-2000s, A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers assessment of Natomas-area levee structural integrity revealed significant deficiencies, spurring a major effort to upgrade these critical flood-prevention features.

Charlane Gross was instrumental in efforts to identify, inventory, and evaluate cultural resources. Archaeologists utilized shovel testing techniques rarely implemented in California along a 42-mile levee corridor focused on the Sacramento River, documenting sites that had gone undiscovered despite over a century of archaeological investigations. One such location was identified through Carbon-14 dating as one of the oldest Native American sites in the Sacramento Valley.

Along with responsibility for coordinating staffing of multiple archaeological teams, Ms. Gross and the project team navigated between state, federal, and local agencies, as well as project engineers and the Native American community, each of whom had specific concerns and occasionally conflicting needs.

Project Tasks

  • Developed research design and historic property treatment plans
  • Conducted surface and subsurface inventory and testing
  • Provided NRHP/CRHR historic and prehistoric site evaluations
Construction on Landside Improvements Project

Artifact Scanning

Field surveys and shovel testing produced vast quantities of prehistoric and historic-era artifacts. Lorrie Jo Williams developed an innovative scanning methodology to provide consistent and efficient documentation of these materials, creating a permanent digital artifact record.

She developed sorting criteria for artifacts of similar materials and visual qualities so that they could be scanned in cost-effective batches, as well as mounting methods to provide 360ยบ views of extremely small items.