Introduction

Site 18PR723 is a Late Archaic period lithic scatter located in southern Prince Georges County, in the Mattawoman Creek drainage.

Archaeological Investigations

18PR723 was originally identified during Phase I shovel testing by GAI Consultants for a pipeline right-of-way in September 2004. Artifacts were recovered from A, E, and B soil horizons. Phase II testing by GAI was conducted between June 15 and 29, 2005, and consisted of 156 shovel test pits on a 5m grid, and 7 1x1m test units. Of the shovel test pits, 52 were positive, producing 154 prehistoric artifacts. This work resulted in an expansion of the site boundary to the south, for total site dimensions of 160m (525 feet) E-W by 60m (148 feet) N-S.

The site represents the remains of multiple Late Archaic period occupations. It includes two sub areas, Area A, the larger eastern portion, and Area B, the smaller western portion.

Phase I and II investigations recovered 714 prehistoric lithic artifacts, including 12 bifaces, 5 unifaces, 3 cores, 641 pieces of debitage, 2 groundstone tools, and 51 fire-cracked rocks. Of these artifacts, 702 were found in Area A.

The lithic assemblage includes two diagnostic Late Archaic period points - one chert Brewerton side-notched point (4000-2300 B.C.) and one rhyolite Clagett point (3000-2000 B.C.). Both were recovered in Area A and represent two different Late Archaic occupations. This portion of the site is interpreted as a composite of multiple, short-term Archaic occupations. Area B remains undatable.

Based on the high density of lithic debitage, along with broken bifaces, cores, and hammerstones, prehistoric activities here focused on late-stage biface production. Expedient flake tools reflect the scraping of hides or wood. Fire-cracked rocks recovered during the fieldwork may indicate the remains of prehistoric hearths or cooking features, although testing did not identify any such features.

Archeobotanical Studies

Excavation of Test Unit 7 exposed a circular feature, designated Feature 1, within the B horizon at a depth of 58cm below ground surface and 10cm below the deepest artifact recovery. Feature 1 had dimensions of 20x16cm and a basin-shaped profile, with a maximum thickness of 4cm. It was bisected and documented with photographs and field observations, and a 4 liter sample of its matrix was collected for flotation. Twelve small fragments of possible plant material (total wt=0.07g) were present in this sample. These materials were submitted to Kathryn Parker for botanical analysis. Upon close examination at 10-30x magnification, these materials were found to have no distinctive morphology or cell structure. Instead, the fragments were determined to be globular and amorphous, almost spongelike. Ms. Parker indicated that these remains may represent charred, decayed root material or fungal tissue; any association with prehistoric human occupation at site 18PR723 is tenuous. Based on these data, Feature 1 was determined to be of non-cultural origin.

References

Parker, Kathryn E.
2006 Archaeobotanical Remains from Mid-Eighteenth to Early Nineteenth Century Deposits at Site 18CV151. Technical Report: Appendices D-K. Phase I Cultural Resources Survey and Phase II National Register Evaluations, Cove Point Expansion TL-532 Pipeline, Calvert, Prince George's, and Charles Counties, Maryland. GAI Consultants, Inc.
 
Lothrop, Jonathan C., Benjamin Resnick, Lori A. Frye, Matthew Hyland, Barbara A. Munford, Douglas MacDonald, David Cremeens, and Lisa Dugas
2006 Technical Report. Phase I Cultural Resources Survey and Phase II National Register Evaluations, Cove Point Expansion TL-532 Pipeline, Calvert, Prince George's, and Charles Counties, Maryland. GAI Consultants, Inc.
PREV NEXT


Thank you for visiting our web site. If you have any questions, comments,
or new information to share, please contact us at patricia.samford@maryland.gov.