D-1 (18AG234)

Site 18AG234 is a large (240 x 380 meter) multi-component Late Archaic and Woodland Periods site situated on the northern side of the North Branch of the Potomac River in the Barton Industrial Park, Allegany County, MD. The site was subjected to Phase I and Phase II work previous to the construction of the industrial park. The northern portion of the site is situated on the eroded lower margin of a high Pleistocene terrace, while the southern portion occupies the northern extent of a Holocene alluvial fan deposit.

Phase I survey involved a series of 126 shovel tests following a 20 meter grid. A total of 600 prehistoric artifacts, mainly debitage, were recovered from the site during Phase I survey. Diagnostic artifacts (1 limestone-tempered Page Cord Marked sherd, 1 Fox Creek/Selby Bay point, and a non-diagnostic point which was similar to Late Archaic square stemmed point types such as Lamoka) suggested that occupation ranged from the Late Archaic to Middle/Late Woodland periods. A range of activities, including early to late stage core reduction, biface manufacture, and preliminary working of raw materials was suggested by the predominance of core reduction flakes and the presence of alternate and biface-thinning flakes.

Phase II investigation was designed to determine whether or not 18AG234 was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. To make this determination, the Phase II was oriented to 1) define the integrity of the prehistoric components present at the site and 2) to characterize spatial relationships and delineate activity areas. Initial field methods employed in evaluating the site involved the systematic excavation of 425 shovel test units at 10 m intervals. Upon completion of the shovel tests, distribution plots were generated to guide the placement of test units. Twenty-five 1 X 1 meter test units were placed across the site to define intra-site spatial patterns and to delineate specific activity areas. Additionally, a total of thirteen 1 X 10 m backhoe trenches to remove the plowzone and expose features.

No prehistoric cultural features were encountered during Phase II excavation and the one historic feature, initially thought to be a fencepost, was found to be a rodent burrow upon further excavation.

A total of 2,167 prehistoric and 133 historic artifacts were recovered during Phase II excavations. Prehistoric diagnostic items included 1 Brewerton Side-Notched or Brewerton Eared-Notched point, 2 Brewerton Side-Notched points, 1 Savannah River stemmed, 3 Levanna points, and at least 2 (possibly 4) Accokeek ceramic sherds. These 4 quartz tempered sherds make up the entire prehistoric ceramic assemblage. The remainder of the flaked lithic assemblage consists of 25 more bifaces (for a total of 32), 4 cores, 75 retouched/utilized flakes, and 2,036 pieces of debitage. In addition, 1 hammerstone, 4 quartz crystals (transported to the site, but not modified), 3 heat treated cobbles and 6 pieces of fire-cracked rock were also recovered.

The historic component of the site is dominated by clear, machine made bottle glass and unidentifiable nail fragments. Half of the historic material was recovered from two shovel tests located at the southeastern corner of the site. The prehistoric assemblage recovered during Phase I and Phase II work indicates that at least two cultural periods, the Late Archaic and the Early and Late Woodland are represented. Neither component, however, retains sufficient stratigraphic separation or integrity to allow separation of elements representative of either period. Similarly, the historic component of Site 18AG234 represents a sparse scatter of historic materials in secondary context.

(Edited from the Maryland Historical Trust Synthesis Project)

References

  • Child, Colby A., Kathleen M. Child, Kristen Bastis, and Jeffrey H. Maymon
  • 2001. Phase II Archeological Evaluation of Sites 18AG23, 18AG229, and 18AG234 and Supplementary Archeological Survey for the Proposed Barton Business Park, Allegany County, Maryland. R. Christopher Goodwin and Associates, Frederick, MD.

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