Introduction

Site 18FR612 consists of a mid-19th- to 20th-century farmstead ruin and a prehistoric lithic scatter.  Located on the west bank of Catoctin Creek in Frederick County, the site lies adjacent to prehistoric site 18FR611.

Archaeological Investigations

This site consists of a mid-19th-century farmstead occupied into the 20th century, which was in a ruinous condition when first recorded in 1987.  Phase II testing in 2006 found further deterioration.  The log house had two additions in 1987, which were collapsed by 2006.  Also within the historic compound are a collapsed stone and frame barn, a deteriorating stone and frame building with a deep cellar (possibly a spring house), and a collapsed frame outbuilding located west of the compound’s wire fence.  An undated prehistoric component is buried in the floodplain.  The historic component has a low to moderate level of site integrity.  Sheet middens are present near the buildings, but lack any stratified deposits that can be assigned to specific occupations of the farmstead.  At least one and perhaps two subsurface features are present: a privy identified in 1987 (Payne 1993) and Anomaly 2, a possible historic period pit.  Based on the limited data from 1987, it appears that the privy may have been repeatedly cleaned out and reused, instead of being filled in and new privy shafts excavated elsewhere.  This is supported by the lack of other privy shafts located within the compound, and the presence of artifacts in the privy fill that date to the last years of site occupation.  A lack of access to water utilities at the site means that the privy was the primary location for human waste disposal up to the end of site’s occupation, and therefore the privy fill may not contain much in the way of intact deposits from earlier occupations.  Anomaly 2, the possible pit, was almost completely devoid of artifacts.  Therefore, the known subsurface features do not possess much potential to add significantly to the understanding of the historic component of 18FR612.   

Archeobotancial Studies

Phase II investigations included analysis of three flotation samples (16.5 liters yielding 0.15 grams) by archeobotanist Annette Ericksen.  A five-liter flotation sample was taken from Anomaly 2, the possible 19th-century pit, which contained a single ceramic sherd.  The archaeobotanical assemblage associated with the anomaly consists of highly fragmented wood charcoal specimens and a single unidentifiable seed fragment.

Two flotation samples were processed from Unit 13, located on the floodplain in the area of the prehistoric component.  A 5.5-liter flotation sample was taken from the 2Ab stratum (90-100cmbs), which yielded three rhyolite flakes.  An insignificant quantity of unidentifiable wood charcoal was recovered.  A 6-liter flotation sample was taken from the 2Btwb1 stratum (100-110cmbs), which contained seven rhyolite flakes, two rhyolite shatter, one quartz flake, and one chert flake.  A total of 0.07 grams of carbonized plant material was recovered, including wood charcoal and an unidentifiable seed fragment.  Ericksen comments that these materials are clearly preserved in both the paleosol and the historic anomaly, and that additional environmental data are likely preserved in these deposits.

References

Sewell, Andrew R.
2006 Report of Phase II Archaeological Assessment of 18FR611 and 18FR612, Staley-Summers Parcel Excess Property, Frederick County, Maryland. Hardlines Design Company for the Maryland State Highway Administration.
 
Ericksen, Annette G.
2006 Archaeological Analysis of Soil Samples from Two Archaeological Properties (18Fr611 and 18Fr612) in Frederick County, Maryland. Appendix C in Report of Phase II Archaeological Assessment of 18FR611 and 18FR612, Staley-Summers Parcel Excess Property, Frederick County, Maryland.
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