The Sang Run site (18GA22) is located on a bench just below the summit of the Allegheny Front at Dans Mountain, at an elevation of 2,150 feet above sea level. Multiple prehistoric components have been documented at the site, including Archaic and Woodland period occupations and a Monongahela village.

Archaeological Investigations

Surface collections and test excavations by a local amateur archeologist and the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh indicated that this exceptionally well-preserved archaeological site was a major village in the late prehistoric period, ca. AD 1000-1500. The excavations revealed fireplaces, storage pits, portions of postmold patterns, and burials. The artifacts include fragments of shell and limestone tempered pottery, triangular arrow points, a channel coal pendant, animal bone refuse, and bone beads. This site is the uppermost late prehistoric village known in the Youghiogheny drainage area and will be critical to studies of the prehistoric relationships between the upper Youghiogheny and Potomac watersheds. The site is also of potential significance in studies of native horticulture in climatically marginal areas.

In 1987, test excavations were conducted by Robert Wall for the Maryland Historical Trust to more clearly define the boundaries of the site and to further sample it. A number of test units excavated on the western portion of the site produced very few artifacts and no features. However, features, including pits, post molds, and a midden, were encountered in the central portion of the site. In all, eleven features were sampled.

A community arrangement has not been clearly ascertained by excavations conducted thus far, but preliminary indications show the presence of a small number of circular house patterns on the crest of the river terrace, lacking a surrounding palisade structure. The features (middens and pits) are representative of typical Late Woodland period settlements in the region. Faunal remains recovered from the features compare closely with assemblages from Monongahela sites in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Overall, 18GA22 is quite small compared to most Late Woodland period sites in the region, and may perhaps have functioned as a small satellite camp with close ties to larger horticultural villages located downstream.

Artifacts were primarily recovered from plowzone contexts. However, a number of items were located in undisturbed features. These included primarily limestone tempered ceramic sherds, clay pipe fragments, triangular projectile points, a few biface fragments, small retouched flakes, and animal bone refuse.

Archeobotanical Studies

Seventeen flotation samples have been processed and analyzed from the Sang Run site. A total of 439 liters of sediment was floated. The archeobotanical remains recovered include maize from 10 contexts, tentatively identified maize from 6 test contexts, 1 cob fragment, beans from 3 contexts, 2 contexts with walnut shell, and 1 hickory shell. Non-carbonized sumac and bulrush seeds were also identified.

Analyst Roger W. Moeller postulates that the Sang Run samples are illustrative of a prehistoric camp under stress. Features produced highly variable results in terms of quantity and variety of plants, which may represent multiple functional episodes in feature formation. Based on the recovered plant artifacts, Moeller suggests that the site was occupied in the late fall.


Moeller, Roger
1988 Flotation at Sang Run (18GA22), 18AG182, and 18AG8. Archaeological Services for the Maryland
Historical Trust.
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,

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