Koppers East Site (18AN580)

The Koppers East site (18AN580), or Lutkefedder 2, is an apparent Early & Late Archaic lithic scatter and short-term use camp located in the Harmans/Arundel Mills area of northern Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The site was first identified during a Phase I survey conducted in 1985 and 1986. The field project was carried out along three proposed alternates for the expansion of MD 100. Moderate to high probability areas were subjected to surface collection in areas of exposed ground surface and excavation of shovel test pits (STPs) to located buried archaeological deposits. STPs were excavated just to the south of the site, but no STPs were excavated at 18AN580. Rather, the site was discovered through surface collection. Even though surface visibility was only around 1%, a quartz biface, a quartz graver and scraping tool, 9 quartz flakes, and six pieces of coal ash were recovered.

At 18AN580, the 1987 Phase II fieldwork entailed the excavation of 678 STPs and ten 1 X 1 m test units. Eight of the formal test units were placed in a central concentration of artifacts, while the other two were placed next to two STPs that had produced biface fragments, but were outside the main concentration.

No cultural features were encountered during the Phase II excavations at 18AN580. The test units usually had three relatively distinct stratigraphic levels and ranged in depth from approximately 30 to 70 cm with most between 50 and 60 cm deep. The vast majority of material, from both STPs and formal test units came from the plowzone. A substantial amount of historic material was also recovered thoughout all units.

Prehistoric artifacts recovered during the Phase II operations included a rhyolite Kanawha stemmed point, a quartz Late Archaic stemmed point, a possible Late Archaic argillite side-notched point, 5 other bifaces, 3 cores, 2 utilized/retouched flakes, 615 flakes/flake fragments, an anvil/nutting stone, and numerous other lithics. A number of historic artifacts were also recovered, but this appears to be 20th-century discard from a nearby farm, highway maintenance debris, and discard from passing automobiles.

The site was revisited in October of 2005, during a Phase I reconnaissance survey for a planned development project. Phase I work in 2005 entailed initial pedestrian reconnaissance, followed by shovel testing. A total of 18 prehistoric artifacts were produced, including flake fragments, shatter, and worked cobbles. None of the material was diagnostic and all recovered from plowzone.

The main concentration of the site was small and very intensively tested during the 1987 Phase II study. Despite this intensive testing the site did not produce any features. This was probably due to the fact that the site was never intensively used, or was never used as a long-term camp. While a fair number of prehistoric artifacts were found at the site, these were mixed with significant amounts of historic material, even below the plowzone. Most of the prehistoric material is restricted to the plowzone, in any case. Having no features naturally detracts from the site’s potential for further research. Site 18AN850 does not appear to have the potential for revealing more information than has already been gathered during the various field projects that have taken place.

(Edited from the Maryland Historical Trust Synthesis Project)

References

  • Wheaton, Thomas, and Mary Beth Reed
  • 1989. Maryland Route 100. Phase II Archeological Investigations. Garrow and Associates, Altanta, GA.

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