Site 18CH736 contains multiple prehistoric short-term camps dating to the Late Archaic and Late Woodland periods. The site is situated in a wooded setting on a high terrace above an unnamed tributary of Mattawoman Creek in Charles County.

Archaeological Investigations

This site was originally recorded by GAI Consultants, Inc. during an extensive Phase I survey of a pipeline right-of-way (ROW) on behalf of Dominion Cove Point LNG in 2004. The site consisted of a 70m x 20m artifact scatter. Nine positive shovel tests were excavated on the site. Artifacts were recovered from the A and E horizons. They included 27 quartz and quartzite lithic flakes, two fire-cracked rocks, and one quartzite biface fragment. The modest artifact assemblage suggested one or several prehistoric encampments.

In April-May 2005, GAI conducted Phase II investigations on the site, consisting of 5m-interval shovel testing and test unit excavations. Based on Phase II testing, the site boundaries were expanded to 85m x 50m (279' x 164').

In May 2005, Dominion proposed rerouting a portion of the pipeline. The proposed Rainbow Reroute lies south of and partly overlaps the previously-tested proposed project ROW in the vicinity of the site. GAI conducted additional Phase I investigations of previously-untested portions of the project area within the Rainbow Reroute ROW. This work consisted of excavating three transects of systematic 15m-interval shovel test pits, followed by radial shovel testing, for a total of 65 STPS. Of these, 25 were positive, producing 54 prehistoric lithic artifacts (50 debitage, 1 core, and 3 FCR). No diagnostic artifacts were recovered and no cultural features were identified.

Additional Phase I shovel testing resulted in the expansion of the site boundary to the south and east for total site dimensions of 130m x 80m (427' x 263'). The portion of the site located within the Rainbow Reroute measures 130m x 50m (427' x 164').

To evaluate the National Register eligibility of the portion of the site within the Rainbow Reroute, GAI returned to the site in August 2005 to conduct Phase II testing. This fieldwork involved 80 shovel tests at 5m intervals and four 1m x 1m test units. The shovel testing recovered an additional 26 lithic artifacts, and the test units produced 74.

Combined, both Phase I and II investigations of the site yielded a grand total of 1,852 artifacts, including 1,803 lithics and 49 historic/modern artifacts. Excavations included a total of 11 1m x 1m test units and 315 shovel test pits (of which 136 were positive). Diagnostic artifacts recovered from 18CH736 included 15 projectile points. Three were Late Archaic period Vernon/Halifax, 2 were Late Archaic period Clagett, 1 was a Late Archaic period contracting stem, 1 was a Late Archaic period Lackawaxen, two were Piscataway, and one was a Late Woodland period triangular point. Overall, the point assemblage reflects a multi-component mixed occupation from multiple Late Archaic and Late Woodland period site visits.

Archeobotanical Studies

Archeobotanical studies were conducted by Katie Parker as part of Phase II investigations at 18CH736. A single 3.0 liter flotation sample was collected from the east half of Feature 1. Feature 1 was a possible prehistoric feature within Test Units 4 and 7, originally defined by a surface exposure of FCR within a burned reddish-orange subsoil at its interface with the A horizon. The feature maintained an oval plan view and a basin-shaped profile, measuring approximately 66 cm north-south and 32 cm east-west. The feature extended to a total depth of 34 cm at its center. A total of 32 artifacts were recovered from Feature 1, including 19 FCR, five flakes, five hammerstones, one mano, and two natural cobbles. No diagnostic artifacts were recovered from the feature, and the lack of large charcoal fragments prevented radiocarbon dating. Flotation of three liters of Feature 1 fill produced a single fragment of charred oak wood, weighing 0.01 grams. Very small charcoal flecks were also present, but could not be identified. Oak is a naturally occurring tree in the vicinity of the project area, and it is unclear if its presence in the feature is a result of natural or cultural processes.


Lothrop, Jonathan C., Benjamin Resnick, Lori A. Frye, Matthew Hyland, Barbara A. Munford, Douglas H. MacDonald, David L. 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.).

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