Wild Turkey (18AG160)

This site was investigated along with three other sites in the area, all of which would be impacted by the proposed alignments for US-48, the National Freeway(modern US I-68) in Allegany County. It is situated on a narrow, elongated portion of a hilltop overlooking Town Creek Valley 300 m away and is flanked on the north, south, and east by precipitous slopes.

Wild Turkey was tested using systematic posthole test pits on a 10 m interval across the ridgetop, and then a 5 m interval within areas where artifacts had been recovered on the surface. Four spatially discrete clusters of debitage which likely correspond to distinct workshop areas were defined. Site stratigraphy was assessed through excavation of fifteen 1 X 1 m test units.

One diagnostic projectile, a Koens-Crispin point, places the site occupation in the Late/Terminal Archaic. Six additional projectile point fragments were also recovered. The size and workmanship of one of these also points to a Late Archaic/Terminal Archaic date for the site. Eleven very large and crude bifaces were recovered, along with 32 retouched flakes. The rest of the artifact sample consists of debitage, some 1596 pieces of it.

Blood residue analysis on 10 artifacts revealed 2 points (the Koens-Crispin and 1 non-diagnostic) and a biface with possible (weak positive) results for the presence of hemoglobin.

While there are spatially separated components of the site, the site seems top have one primary function: that of lithic workshop. The assemblage is 97% debitage, 82% of which is argillaceous chert. This material probably outcrops nearby and large blocks of it appear to have been reduced to crude bifacial form. The site was revisited periodically to replenish supplies of lithic material for tool manufacturing.

(Edited from the Maryland Historical Trust Synthesis Project)

References

  • Kavanaugh, Maureen, and Carole Ebright
  • 1988. Archeological Testing of Four Prehistoric Sites in Town Creek Valley, Allegany County, Maryland. MGS File Report No. 216.

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