Introduction

18AG19 describes an early Late Woodland occupation site at the mouth of Frog Run, a small tributary that joins the Potomac River approximately 3,000 west of the western end of Hawkins Island. 

Archaeological Investigations

The site was identified and collected by the property owner, and recorded by Tyler Bastian in 1973.  A Woodland period campsite or village was indicated by landowner collections and Bastian’s observations of surface finds.

In 2009 and 2010, the Louis Berger Group conducted a survey of the Frog Run site as part of an archaeological survey and evaluation study of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park for the National Park Service.  Berger’s investigation included an auger test of the site, where three buried A-horizons at roughly 2.5, 4.5 and 7.0 feet below ground surface were identified.  Debitage and fire-cracked-rock were recovered.  A bank cut test unit was located 75 feet from the auger test along the slop from top of the terrace down to Frog Run in a grassy area. The unit measured feet wide east-west (parallel to the terrace edge).  Despite a history of plowing, the plowzone yielded some prehistoric artifacts.  Immediately below the plowzone, a prehistoric midden was identified (1.3 feet thick).  The midden was rich in charcoal, and produced more than 100 potsherds (and at least 5 rim sherds).  Stylistic attributes indicate an early Late Woodland time period.  Beneath the midden was a brown silt-loam with little charcoal and few artifacts.  Artifact concentrations increase slightly at 4.0 feet below ground surface over sterile subsoil.

Four shovel tests were dug to explore the horizontal extent of the Late Woodland deposits.   Artifacts were encountered in all of the STP’s excavated.  Artifact concentrations and stratigraphy indicated that the rich cultural midden was confined to within 25 feet of the bluff edge.

Archeobotanical Studies

Three hand-collected carbon samples were collected from Test Unit 1.  A total of 3.13 grams of carbonized wood charcoal were recovered.  Sixty-one greater than or equal to to 2mm fragments of wood charcoal were present, and 54 fragments (a maximum of 20 fragments per sample) were randomly collected for identification.  Hickory was the most common wood type encountered, followed by white oak, pine, maple or birch, and possibly ash.

References

Bedell, John, Jason Shellenhamer, and Charles LeeDecker
2011 Archaeological Identification and Evaluation Study, Section III, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, National Historical Park.  The Louis Berger Group, Inc., for the National Park Service.  (MHT number pending)
 
McKnight, Justine
2010 Report on the Analysis of Flotation-recovered and Hand-collected Archeobotanical Remains from Three Sites (18AG19, 1 8AG20, and 18AG262), C&O Canal Park, Allegeny County, Maryland. Appendix E in Archaeological Identification and Evaluation Study, Section III, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, National Historical Park. Volume III. The Louis Berger Group, Inc., for the National Park Service.
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