Introduction

Pig Point (18AN50) describes a multi-component base camp or village site on the Patuxent River in southwestern Anne Arundel County. This highly significant site has intact stratigraphy  through the entire Woodland period and into the Early Archaic. Radiocarbon dates and changing artifact styles indicate nearly consistent occupation at Pig Point for at least 10,000 years.

Archaeological Investigations

Archaeological investigations by the Lost Towns Project reveal a long history of human use at the Pig Point site. Thousands of Late Woodland artifacts, fragments of tentatively identified maize and several dated features ranging from ca A.D. 1100 through A.D. 1300 suggest a high degree of sedentism at the site during this time period.  The Middle Woodland period is well-represented at Pig Point by the presence of Selby Bay and the Popes Creek wares associated with post-rich structural remains.  Heavy occupation during Early Woodland and Late Archaic periods is also documented by the presence of highly decorated pot sherds, steatite fragments, several hearths, and dozens of Piscataway and Archaic triangle points.  The Middle Archaic is well represented, and two large, food-rich hearth features dating to the Middle Woodland period were excavated during the 2010 field season.  A dramatic increase in lithic debitage, tools, and projectile points is indicated in every Middle Archaic horizon excavated at Pig Point. A few deeply buried projectile points represent faint traces of the Early Archaic.

During the 2009 and 2010 field seasons, a total of 62 five foot by five foot units were initiated, and 39 of these were completed.  Eighty-one cultural features were identified, and the units produced over 176,000 cultural artifacts, as well as flotation samples, radiocarbon samples, and soils samples for specialized analyses.

Archeobotanical Studies

Archaeology at Pig Point has included a rigorous program of flotation processing and waterscreening for the recovery of plant macro-remains. The 2009/2010 filed seasons generated 163 flotation samples and 218 waterscreen samples. 

Lost Towns Project staff are in the process of systematically processing and sorting floral remains recovered through flotation and waterscreening, as well as hand-collection.  Justine McKnight provided a preliminary assessment of seven samples from six cultural features excavated during 2009.  Wood charcoal, hickory and acorn nutshells, bedstraw and unidentifiable seeds, and tentatively identified maize kernel fragments were documented.

References

Sperling, Stephanie Taleff
2011 Archaeological Investigations at Pig Point (18AN50):  Extracting the Middle Woodland PeriodLost Towns Project.  MHT # AN 609.
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