The Barton II site (18AG8) is one of several in the Barton complex of sites located on an alluvial terrace along the North Branch of the Potomac River floodplain in Allegany County.  It is a large, multi-component site with Archaic, Early Woodland, and Late Woodland period occupations.

Archaeological Investigations

The site was first identified in 1958 by Henry Wright, but was not substantially excavated until 1987, when it was the subject of the Archeological Society of Maryland annual field school.  These investigations revealed intact Early and Middle Woodland period occupation features overlying stratigraphic horizons containing probable Archaic period cultural deposits.

In 2002, a portion of 18AG8 was identified within the limits of a proposed outfall for a planned sewage treatment plant for the Barton Business Park.  A Phase I archaeological survey conducted within the proposed construction corridor for the outfall included shovel testing and mechanized excavation of two trenches and one 1x2 meter test unit at the southern tip of the site.  Testing identified a possible prehistoric pit feature and intact cultural horizons that likely dated from the Archaic period.

Phase II evaluation was recommended for the portion of 18AG8 that was located within the footprint of the proposed corridor extension.  Testing in 2002 consisted of 59 shovel test pits at closer intervals and 12 additional test units.  Intact cultural deposits were found within the outfall corridor and on the crest and slopes of the T1 terrace.  The Barton II site is comprised of several prehistoric components, including 1) Early Woodland and Archaic period occupations on the crest of the terrace, 2) a Late Woodland period occupation associated with an Ab horizon at the toe of the terrace (eastern margin), and 3) a Late Woodland period occupation associated with an Ab horizon on the margins of a relict flood chute on the western edge of the site.

Three radiocarbon dates were secured on carbon associated with the Ab horizon:

Ab horizon
Beta 24722
320 +/- 50 BP
Ab horizon
Beta 24723
520 +/- 70 BP
Beta 24724
170 +/- 80

Archeobotanical Studies

Flotation samples from the 1987 excavations were taken from a paleosol recognized in multiple test units, as well as from a pit feature and the level 2 stratigraphic layer.  Analysis was conducted by Roger W. Moeller of Archaeological Services in 1988.  The archeobotanical report is not locatable at this time.  The samples yielded 17 tiny flakes (all chert), pottery crumbs, walnut, and grape seeds.  Non-carbonized pokeweed and locust seeds were also identified.   While the 1987 archeobotanical studies were conducted for the Barton site, details are not available.  These paleoethnobotanical data and radiocarbon dates are not yet integrated into the Maryland Archeobotanical Database.

Twelve small flotation samples and a single hand-collected maize cob were analyzed by Justine McKnight over the winter of 2009/2010.  The maize cob was determined to be modern in origin.  The twelve flotation samples hailed from consecutive 10cm strata within test unit S260 E220, from a depth of 10 cmbs to 120 cmbs.  The sample contents are detailed in the table linked at the bottom of this page .   Botanical remains noted within the samples included wood charcoal and an array of uncarbonized seeds.


Child, Kathleen and Kulp, Jesse
2002 Phase I Archaeological Survey of the Proposed Sewer Outfall Extension, Barton Business Park , Allegany County , Maryland .  R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc.
Maymon, Jeff and Kathleen Child
2003 Phase II Archeological Evaluation of Sites 18AG8 and 18AG240 for the Proposed Sewer Outfall, Barton Business Park , Allegany County , Maryland .  R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc.
Moeller, Roger
1988 Flotation at Sang Run (18GA22), 18AG182, and 18AG8. Archaeological Services for the Maryland Historical Trust. (report is not available)
Wall, Robert D.
1981 An Archeological Study for the Western Maryland Coal Region: The Prehistoric Resources. Maryland Geological Survey, Baltimore.
1989 A Preliminary Archaeological Data Base for the Maryland Coal Region.  Maryland Historical Trust.
1992 Notes on an Early Woodland Feature from the Barton Complex (18AG8), Allegany County , Maryland . Maryland Archeology 28(1):13.
Wall, Robert D. and Dennis Curry
1992 Test Excavations at the Barton Complex Sites, Allegany County , Maryland .  Maryland Archeology 28(1):1-12.

To see table of 12 small flotation samples, go to the Reports section at the bottom of page.


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