The Deep Run Quarry site (18HO52) is an example of a multi-component lithic procurement/secondary reduction site and a short-term base camp with occupations dating from the Early Archaic through the Late Woodland periods. A historic component represents the remains of a domestic structure dating to the late 18th to mid-19th century.

Archaeological Investigations

Phase II archaeological site evaluations were conducted in 1993 by R. Christopher Goodwin and Associates, Inc. The principal focus of prehistoric occupation at 18HO52 appears to have been primary and secondary lithic reduction, the production and use of expedient flake tools, and limited maintenance of curated tools. The presence of fire-cracked rock and groundstone tool fragments suggests that it was the locus of short-term base camps as well. Diagnostic projectile points/knives indicate the site was occupied during most periods in prehistory. Four concentrations of prehistoric material, on the ridge and on nearby terrace remnants, were not discrete functionally, and probably result from overlapping occupations. Although a large quantity of debitage and lithic artifacts were recovered, the site has been impacted severely by post-occupational processes. Soil erosion and historic plowing have destroyed any features associated with prehistoric use of the site.

Several linear burn features were found in association with the historic component; they may represent a structure that measured approximately 31 ft (9.5 meters) long, with a parallel supporting wall or collapsed architectural support. Charcoal within these features was primarily red oak, which was used commonly in the construction of log structures. Ceramics, glass bottles and stemware, pipe fragments, and other domestic debris associated with the features suggest that they were produced by a domestic structure. None of the artifacts associated with the historic component are appear to remain in primary contexts. Plowing has impacted the historic component dramatically. Architectural features associated with the structure, such as post holes, pilings, and chimney bases, have been obliterated by plowing. Only patches of burned soil remain where the heat associated with the burning of the structure has oxidized the soil. Plowing has also destroyed the integrity of any middens or other primary refuse deposits associated with the historic user of the site. The presence of a few artifacts beneath the plowzone only masks the impacts of plow disturbance to the site; most of the cultural materials were recovered from within the plowzone.

Archeobotanical Studies

Archeobotanical studies included the analysis of feature sediment from the historic component of 18HO52. Seven 1-liter soil samples were collected from Features 2, 3, and 5, and processed using a modified SMAP-type flotation system (Watson 1976). Additionally, three hand-collected carbon concentrations were also submitted for taxonomic identification. Analysis was accomplished by Justine Woodard.

Wood charcoal comprised the hand-collected samples, with red oak and American hornbeam identified. The seven flotation samples produced 2.76 grams of carbonized plant material (an average of 0.394 grams per liter). The flotation samples contained 2.74 grams of wood charcoal (predominantly red oak with maple), 5 carbonized seeds (sumpweed, poke, knotweed), a single fragment each of hickory and black walnut shell, and miscellaneous plant materials including root, bark, and rind fragments and amorphous carbon.

The wood fibers identified across all samples point to the prevalence of red oak species within the features. It is probable that the structure containing Features 2, 3, and 5 was constructed primarily of red oak, with minor amounts of American hornbeam and maple.

Only minimal dietary reconstruction can be made for the historic residents of 18HO52 based on plant remains recovered from Features 2 and 3. The paucity of substantial edible taxa may be due to the nature of the sampled features as structural elements, rather than as refuse midden or kitchen-related deposits.


Maymon, Jeffrey H., Michael Simons, William Giglio, Christopher Polglase, and S. Justine Woodard
1994 Phase II Investigations of Sites 18HO52 and 18HO193 for the Proposed Maryland Route 100 Extension from US 29 to I-95, Howard County, Maryland. R. Christopher Goodwin and Associates, Inc., for the Maryland Department of Transportation, State Highway Administration.
Watson, Patty Jo
1976 In Pursuit of Prehistoric Subsistence: A Comparative Account of Some Contemporary Flotation Techniques. Mid-Continental Journal of Archaeology v.1(1): 77-100.



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