The Monocacy Bottom II site (18FR617) contains two distinct prehistoric occupations. One is a Late Archaic period base camp, the other a Late Woodland period short-term resource procurement camp.

Archaeological Investigations

Hettie Ballweber of NPW Consultants, Inc., recorded the site during a Phase I survey of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BG&E) Tuscarora to Linden Church Pipeline in 1988. Two rhyolite stemmed point fragments, one quartz corner-notched Brewerton-like point, one Brewerton corner-notched point, one rhyolite Brewerton side-notched point, one rhyolite Bare Island point, and one rhyolite Savannah River point were found during a surface collection of a field measuring 470m x 15m. Also found were 38 flakes of quartz, quartzite, and rhyolite, 18 quartz shatter, 2 rhyolite unifacial flake tools, 1 quartz scraper, and 2 large modified quartz blocks.

Phase II and III investigations were conducted by Ballweber (also in 1988) on behalf of BG&E. Phase II testing involved mechanical excavation of four 1.8m x 30m trenches. Cultural features were found in two of the four trenches. Five of the six features excavated were identified as cultural, and four of these were hearths. Seven additional points were found (although none were diagnostic), as well as 12 bifaces/fragments, 2 utilized flakes, 77 flakes, 2 cores, 12 modified chunks/blocks, 3 retouched chunks/blocks, 60 unmodified chunks/blocks, and 1 shatter.

Phase III testing involved 26 1m x 1m units scattered across the site area as defined by Phases I and II. Plowzone was then stripped from the 3m wide pipeline corridor itself, as well as seven other trenches. Eleven features were identified as seven possible refuse/storage pits, three hearths, and one post hole/mold. The post mold could not be positively identified as prehistoric, but the size of the post (in profile) would suggest that it was. Another post of similar size and shape was found nearby, and is interpreted as being associated.

As a result of Phase I, II, and III work at the site, the following artifacts were recovered: 6 quartz and 13 rhyolite projectile points/fragments, 9 quartz and 4 rhyolite bifaces/fragments, 1 quartzite biface fragment, 1 quartz scraper, 1 quartz and 5 rhyolite utilized/retouched flakes, 36 quartz and 52 rhyolite primary flakes, 42 quartz and 37 rhyolite secondary flakes, a quartzite secondary flake, a quartz tertiary flake, 10 quartz cores, 82 quartz and 6 rhyolite chunks/blocks, and 22 fragments of quartz shatter. Of the projectile points which could be classified into types there was one quartz Piscataway, one rhyolite Savannah River, two rhyolite Brewerton, one possible quartz Brewerton corner-notched, one rhyolite Bare Island, and one rhyolite Levanna. The Levanna point attests to a previously unrecognized Late Woodland period occupation at the site.

Archeobotanical Studies

Archeobotanical information was collected during combined Phase II/III efforts at the Monocacy Bottom II site. Ten flotation samples of unknown volume were processed from 10 separate features (feature numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12). Cheryl Holt analyzed the flotation-recovered plant remains. Wood charcoal was observed in each of the samples, although the wood was not classified or quantified. A site total of 33 carbonized seeds were identified, including bedstraw (18), black-eyed susan (1), bunchberry (2), chokecherry (2), crabgrass (3), knotweed (1), soybean (1), spurge (2), vetch (1), and violet (2). Fern macrospores (n=50) were recovered from two of the flotation samples analyzed. Uncharred (modern) seeds from the site features include blackberry (1), bunchberry (2), clover (1), crabgrass (181), goosefoot/lambsquarter (1), goosegrass (2), grass (17), and pigweed (2). No nutshell was recovered.

The recovered archeobotanical materials from 18FR617 offer only limited information regarding past plant use at the site. The carbonized seed assemblage contains non-native taxa (i.e. soybean), which are mixed with abundant modern seed debris, suggesting that there has been some level of disturbance to minute artifacts within archaeological contexts at the site.


Ballweber, Hettie L.
1990 Archaeological Investigations at 18FR617, 18FR618, and 18FR628, Frederick County, Maryland
 (Phases II and III).
NPW Consultants, Inc.
Holt, Cheryl
1990 Ethnobotanical Analysis of Feature Flotation Samples from Site 18FR617, Frederick County, Maryland.
Appendix VI to Archaeological Investigations at 18FR617, 18FR618, and 18FR628, Frederick County, Maryland (Phases II and III). NPW Consultants, Inc.

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