The Thomas site (18CA88) consists of a scatter of Archaic and Woodland period artifacts and a Late Woodland period ossuary. The site is located on Gilpin Point on the east side of the Choptank River in Caroline County.

Archaeological Investigations

The property owner has non-systematically surface collected the two-acre parcel containing the ossuary. Archaic and Late Woodland period lithic and ceramic artifacts were noted in the owner’s surface collected material, but analysis has not been completed to date.

The excavated portion of the site consists of a single burial pit/ossuary which was encountered during house construction. Approximately 50% of the ossuary feature was destroyed. Maryland Historical Trust staff excavated the undisturbed portion of the ossuary. It contained fragmented skeletal remains of at least 20 individuals.

Archeobotanical Studies

Archeobotanical analyses were contracted to Cheryl Holt by the Maryland Historical Trust in 1990. Fifty-five flotation samples were examined from ossuary contexts directly associated with individual skeletal remains.

Recovered plant macro-remains include seeds, macrospores, and small charred wood fragments. A total of 63,909 seeds and macrospores were recovered from the test samples under study. Twenty one different plant species were recovered. Generally, only charred native seeds are considered a legitimate constituent of a prehistoric floral assemblage. The assemblage contained 63,699 specimens which were not in a charred state. Fifteen of the 21 recovered taxa were not represented by any charred specimens. An additional four taxa were recovered both in the charred and uncharred state. Non-native taxa included carpetweed, crabgrass, copperleaf, purslane, chickweed, and an uncharred grass seed likely modern in origin. Approximately 99% of the floral assemblage was uncharred, and considered to be modern. These included blackberries, pigweed, sedge, spikerush, chufa, goldenrod, knotweed, spurge, switchgrass, and waterweed. Potentially utilized charred specimens included ferns, catchfly, germander, and bedstraw.


Holt, Cheryl A.
1990 Floral Analysis: Thomas Site (18CA88). (In MHT site file.)

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