Owings Mill New Town Site A (18BA394)

The Owings Mills New Town Site A (18BA394), also known simply as Site A, is a prehistoric lithic scatter with possible short-term occupations in the Early and Late Archaic periods. The site likely functioned as a short-term resource procurement camp. The site is located west and slightly southwest of Owings Mills, in Baltimore County. It is situated on the first terrace above the Red Run floodplain, adjoining a tributary just inland from its confluence with Red Run and its floodplain. Soil at the site is Glenville silt loam and the entire site area has been under cultivation.

In the vicinity of 18BA394, Phase I investigations began with surface collection. Some areas were an active floodplain with good surface visibility, but most other areas had to be plowed in parallel strips that exposed about 50% of the survey area for surface collection. Several surface artifacts led to the identification of 18BA394 and were then plotted. A series of ten shovel test pits (STPs) were then excavated within this artifact producing area. The surface collection contained three bifaces, a core, and three flakes. A dense quartz scatter was noted in the northern section of the site, but examination of the materials failed to find an indication of prehistoric reduction activities. Two of the bifaces were a quartz LeCroy and a Bare Island projectile point, with the third being the upper section of a rhyolite blade. Debitage consisted of a quartz core and three flakes of quartz, chert, and rhyolite.

Shovel test pit excavation failed to recover any artifacts which would indicate that the artifact distribution pattern over the site may be either clustered outside of the individual tests or that the artifact dispersal is limited in frequency. The latter is probably the case. Because diagnostic prehistoric artifacts were discovered, Phase II testing was recommended for the site.

Late in 1989 a combined Phase II/III project was conducted at 18BA394. The Phase II field investigations involved the plowing of the site and adjoining land, followed by a controlled surface collection and machine topsoil stripping of transects. The surface collection was conducted with survey transect intervals averaging 1 meter and ground visibility at near 100%. The plowed ground extended outside of the Phase I site boundaries in order to assure that specific horizontal site limits were established. Two artifacts were identified during the surface collection in the plowed area; a chert secondary flake and an argillite biface similar in form to the Late Archaic Lackawaxen point type. The machine stripping of the topsoil revealed no additional artifacts, and also that the entire site had been heavily disturbed by plowing.

Owings Mills New Town Site A (18BA394) was identified as a prehistoric site with possible short-term occupations in the Early and/or Late Archaic periods. The site revealed a paucity of artifacts and lacked any artifact concentrations. Because of its lack of research value and ability to contribute archaeological information regarding the prehistory of the area, the site was determined to have no cultural significance and was not deemed eligible for listing to the National Register of Historic Places. Project development activities were given the go-ahead without the requirement of further archaeological testing and the site has been essentially destroyed.

(Edited from the Maryland Historical Trust Synthesis Project)


  • Payne, Ted, and Martin Reinbold
  • 1991. Phase II & III ArchaeologicaL Investigations Owings Mills New Town, Baltimore County, Maryland. 2 vols. MAAR Associates, Inc., Newark, Delaware.

About the MAC Lab

The MAC Lab
Visiting the MAC Lab

Contact Us