The Warwick Site (18CE371) is a small, low-density accumulation of tools, debitage and fire cracked rock.  The site represents a transient camp, processing station or extractive locus utilized periodically but repeatedly during the Late Archaic.  There is also evidence of a possible Early Woodland occupation at the site.

Archaeological Investigations

Phase III Archaeological Data Recovery at the Warwick Site was conducted by the Dovetail Cultural Resources Group for the Delaware Department of Transportation.  Planned improvements to Route 301 connected to the construction of a stormwater management basin would impact the site.

The Warwick Site is located south of Middletown, Delaware along Route 301 and just southwest of the Delaware/Maryland state line.  Although the site lies in Maryland, the Route 301 project was conducted under the auspices of the Delaware Department of Transportation.  The site was identified by Richard Grubb and Associates during a Phase IA archaeological survey in 2008.  Grubb conducted Phase IB work at the site in 2009, 2010, and Phase II evaluation of the site in 2011.  Archaeological and pedalogical analysis recovered artifacts from the plow zone and upper level of the subsoil.  Thirty-eight artifacts were recovered during the phase IB and 382 artifacts were discovered during the Phase II excavation.  The Data Recovery effort built up on the Phase II excavation by expanding subsurface investigations within the core of the site.  No cultural features were identified.

Archeobotanical Studies

Sixty-six samples (33 each from the Ap and B1 horizons) were selected for flotation processing and macro-botanical analysis from the Warwick Site.  A total of 257 liters of soil processed 15.53 grams of carbonized plant remains.  The archeobotanical assemblage derives entirely from non-feature contexts, and a low concentration of material was anticipated.  Results were surprising, however, as a moderate amount of wood charcoal along with carbonized nutshells, seeds, and vegetal miscellany were recovered.  In addition to these carbonized remains, partially carbonized seeds and maize (corn) were also recovered.

Wood charcoal was present within 100 percent of the samples analyzed.  A total of 2,187 (>2mm) fragments weighing 14.47 grams was recovered.  A mixture of deciduous wood types including white oak, oak, red oak, hickory, maple and dogwood were identified.  Nutshells occurred in 66 percent of the samples, with a site total of 23 fragments (0.26 grams) was recovered.  Hickory and acorn were identified.  Carbonized or partially carbonized seeds were identified from 23 percent of the samples.  A total of 27 seeds representing seven taxa were identified.  The seeds of edible, fleshy fruits were particularly well-represented.  Hawthorn, huckleberry, panic or foxtail grass, sumac, raspberry or blackberry, grape, and possibly rose were identified.  A single, partially carbonized maize cupule was recovered from FS 70 (Test Unit 61, Ap horizon).  This likely represents a recent addition to the archaeological record.  Miscellaneous plant remains recovered from the site include buds, fungi, peduncles fragments, and unidentifiable amorphous carbon.  Unburned seeds occurred within 82 percent of the analyzed samples.

In the absence of cultural features, all of the Warwick flotation samples were secured from general excavation unit contexts.  Half of the samples derive from plowzone contexts, the other half from the upper levels of the subsoil.  From non-feature contexts, low-density wood charcoal can reflect debris from historic land clearing efforts.  Scattered, small native seeds, nuts, and miscellaneous plant products can also be interpreted as incidental remnants of historic land use activities.  Preliminary data from the Warwick Site suggested that this might be the pattern.  However, the constellation of taxa represented (almost all are culturally preferred) and the high percentage of comestible genera within the nut and seed categories combined with a moderate density of wood charcoal within some units suggests a prehistoric cultural origin linked directly to the archaeology of the site.  The recovery of partially carbonized seeds and maize from the plowzone, and the presence of ubiquitous, diverse and abundant unburned seeds within the Ap indicate the mixing of more modern materials within the upper soil horizons.  The biologically active nature of soils and a historic record of land clearing and farming of the site complicate the interpretation of the Warwick archeobotanical assemblage.

While expectations for a rich floral data set at Warwick were low, plant materials gleaned from thte site were moderately abundant and highly informative.  The Warwick data reveal a stong dependence on the wild products of the native woodland environment, and a pattern of late summer and fall plant resource exploitation is evidenced.  Archeobotanical data from the Warwick Site provide important baseline information regarding human-plant interactions during the Late Archaic and possibly Early Woodland periods in central Delmarva.  Importantly, the Warwick data recovery provides the largest systematically-collected archeobotanical assemblage from Late Archaic contexts on Maryland’s coastal plain.


McKnight, Justine W.
Report on the Analysis of Flotation-recovered Plant Remains from the Warwick Site (18CE371), Cecil county, Maryland.  Phase III Archaeological Data Recovery.  Appendix A to Phase III Archaeological Data Recovery at the Warwick Site (18CE371), Cecil County, Maryland by Klein et al.
Klein, Mike, Marco A. Gonzalez and Michael Carmody
2013 Phase III Archaeological Data Recovery at the Warwick Site (18CE371), Cecil County, Maryland.  Prepared by the Dovetail Cultural Resources Group for the Delaware Department of Transportation. 

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