Tuckahoe (18CA87)

Tuckahoe (18CA87) is a multicomponent site with an Early and Middle Woodland base camp, a Late Woodland artifact scatter, and a 19th and 20th century artifact scatter and 20th century refuse dump. It is located near Ridgely in Caroline County.

Phase I testing of the site was conducted in 1988. Field work consisted of random surface collection and shovel test pit (STP) excavation where ground visibility was obscured by vegetation. STPs were spaced 20 meters apart. A total of 24 STPs were excavated, 13 of which contained artifacts.

A Phase II investigation of 18CA87 was undertaken in 2007. The archaeological testing consisted of the excavation of 161 STPs dug across a 10 m grid and ten 1 m² test units. All excavated soils were screened and all artifacts were retained. Testing resulted in the expansion of the site boundaries and an increase in site size from the 1.69 acres determined during the Phase I study to 2.57 acres.

The Phase II evaluation indicated that the stratigraphy was variable across the site. Two distinct artifact concentrations were identified. The eastern and southwestern concentrations are fundamentally different in all aspects including density, diversity of artifact assemblages, composition of artifact assemblages, and lithic raw material types. In addition to the artifact concentrations, two areas of disturbance were also noted. A modern trash dump covered much of the northwest corner of the area and extended down the terrace slope toward Tuckahoe Creek. An earthen berm paralleled a small dirt road along the southern edge of the area. The berm was thought to represent an old rail bed, or to be related to the construction of MD 404.

A total of 568 prehistoric artifacts were recovered during Phase I & II. 329 historic and modern artifacts were recovered from the fill, STPs and surface collection. The historic artifacts were suggested to represent re-deposited field scatter.

Tuckahoe (18CA87) is a multicomponent site with distinct areas of stratigraphy and artifact concentrations. The temporal affiliation of the site is the transitional Early to Middle Woodland period based on the presence of a Calvert point and Coulbourn and Mockley ceramics. A Late Woodland period affiliation was also possibly indicated for the site by the presence of a Townsend rim sherd. Based on the limited feature sample (a possible pit feature located in test unit 1), it was difficult to conclusively determine site type and function although the presence of even a tentative pit feature implied a more permanent occupation along the lines of a base camp. The historical affiliation of the site extends from the 19th century through the present day and represents a 19th and 20th century artifact scatter and 20th century refuse dump. Results of the archaeological evaluations led to the assessment that site 18CA87 lacks the integrity and the quantity and quality of data sufficient to address research themes related to the Delmarva Peninsula that would otherwise make it eligible for listing on the National Register.

(Edited from the Maryland Historical Trust Synthesis Project)


  • Lee, Anne B., Varna Boyd, Kathy Furgerson, Christopher Polglase, and Tara Tetrault
  • 2007. Phase I Intensive Rerrestrial Archeology Survey of Select Areas for MD 404 Construction Phase IA and Phase II Archeological Evaluation at 18CA87, Caroline County, Maryland. SHA Archeological Report No. 368.

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