DCC 2/Edwards Site (18AN408)

The DCC 2 Site (18AN408), or Edwards Site, is the archaeological remnants of a Late Archaic base camp, and a series of Early, Middle, & Late Woodland short-term resource procurement camps near Crownsville, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The site was first identified in 1976, during a Phase I survey conducted in the potential corridors of what would eventually become I-97. The Edwards Site was described as a temporary campsite, which yielded 1 Brewerton point, 1 Rossville point, 1 side-notched point, 5 bifaces/biface fragments, 78 flakes, and 18 broken cobble fragments. Researchers returned to the site in 1979 and excavated two 60 X 60 cm test units in an effort to gain a better understanding of the site stratigraphy and integrity. The artifact assemblage collected during the 1979 excavations included 1 Piscataway point, a retouched flake, 27 other flakes, 7 chunks, 82 pieces of shatter, a metal fence staple, 3 nails, 3 tin-glazed earthenware sherds, 1 salt-glazed stoneware sherd, a porcelain sherd, and 9 pieces of unidentified clear glass. All of the historic materials were recovered from the plowzone.

Phase II investigations at the Edwards Site were carried out intermittently from late May to the end of October, 1982. The work entailed several different strategies: controlled surface collection, shovel test pits (STPs), 1 X 1m test squares, and augering. A total 140 STPs were excavated in the wooded portion of the site, each measuring approximately 35 cm in diameter. Based on artifact density maps generated by the above two procedures, and on the depth of the A horizon as determined by STPs and selected augering, five 1 X 1 m test units were dug.

The Edwards Site appears to consist of several overlapping loci of prehistoric occupation beginning during the Early Archaic and continuing through the Late Woodland, with most activity occurring during the Late Archaic, ca. 4000-1000 BC. The tool assemblage is dominated by projectile points, but also includes knives, scrapers, a graver, 2 hammerstones, and a cobble chopper. The range of debitage at the site (flakes, cores, and shatter) is evidence for on-site tool manufacture from the locally available quartz and quartzite. There is some pottery present but in very small amounts. No bone material was recovered, but conditions are poor for bone preservation in the acidic, sandy soils of the site. The overall assemblage suggests a hunting and gathering function for 18AN408.

The Edwards Site was most likely used as an upland hunting and gathering station by prehistoric groups oriented toward the South and/or Severn Rivers and estuaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Review of diagnostics from the site show that the periods of most intense occupation were the Late Archaic and Terminal Archaic. There is also evidence for its use as a campsite throughout the Woodland. The archaeological remains of these various occupations are broadly dispersed.

In spite of the dispersal and disturbance, the site is still an important source of information in terms of its contribution to the overall settlement system of prehistoric occupants. The range of artifacts, types of lithic materials, and chronological indicators provide evidence for site function, group mobility, and indirectly, climatic changes and population shifts through time. In the absence of buried, undisturbed remains, questions such as these can most effectively be addressed by delineating the site and taking a systematic sample by controlled surface collection or by systematic test excavations. Since a large systematic sampling has already been completed as part of the Phase II investigations, the site’s research potential has likely been exhausted. The site should not be considered a significant archaeological resource.

(Edited from the Maryland Historical Trust Synthesis Project)

References

  • Kavanagh, Maureen, and Silas Hurry
  • 1984. Phase II Archeological Investigations for the Baltimore Annapolis Transportation Corridor, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. MGS File Report No. 186.

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