Site 18PR1024 is a short-term Middle Woodland encampment located in the Paint Branch drainage on a floodplain between Little Paint Branch to the east and Paint Branch to the west and south within the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.  Site activities appear to have been focused on stone tool manufacturing and maintenance.

Archaeological Investigations

Phase I survey associated with the PB-85 Stream Restoration and Wetland Creation project recorded Site 18PR1024 as a concentration of lithic debitage, stone tool fragments, fire-cracked rock, and a piece of serpentine.  Based on the recovered artifacts, site activity appeared largely focused on the maintenance of jasper tools brought onsite as part of existing curated toolkits.  Rhyolite tools and debitage reflect on-site tool maintenance and manufacture.

Phase II evaluation was conducted by RK &K in 2011.  The Phase II data is currently under review by the Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland State Highway Administration.

Archeobotanical Studies

Phase II investigations included the analysis of three flotation samples and a single hand-collected carbon sample.  Samples were collected from Feature 1, a FCR/Cobble concentration.  Flotation processing of 55.5 liters of cultural fill produced 4.845 grams of carbonized plant macro-remains (an average of 0.087 grams per liter of feature soil).  The samples contained the remains of deciduous wood types, hickory and walnut nutshells, carbonized seeds and a variety of miscellaneous plant artifacts.  In addition, uncarbonized (modern) seed were present in each of the analyzed flotation samples.  Flotation-recovered wood charcoal totaled 646 fragments weighing 4.12 grams (85 percent of the total carbonized macro-remains, based on weight).  Of this total, 60 fragments were randomly selected for identification, revealing a predominance of oaks, maple, and hickory species.   Nutshells were identified within all three flotation samples, with a total of 48 shell fragments weighing 0.5 grams.  Thick walled hickory nutshell (46 fragments) and walnut family (two fragments) were identified.  Carbonized seeds recovered through flotation totaled six specimens (0.15 grams).  A yellow poplar seed was identified, along with five fragmentary, unidentifiable seeds.  Miscellaneous plant artifacts recovered through flotation include 29 fragments of amorphous carbon, two fragments of fungal fruiting bodies, three pieces of an unidentifiable material, a peduncle, and a bud.  In addition to carbonized plant macro-remains, nine types of uncarbonized (modern) seeds were identified within the assemblage.  The hand-collected floral sample contained five fragments of wood charcoal (0.02 grams), including maple and oak species.

The flotation and hand-collected archeobotanical assemblage collected during Phase II investigations at Site 18PR10234 provide information about Middle Woodland plant use at the site.  The data reveal a cultural preference for local hardwood species for fuel (especially oaks) and a reliance on wild-gathered nuts (predominantly thick-walled hickory species). 

Seventeen fragments (0.21 grams) of hickory nutshells recovered via flotation from Feature 1 (Level 1) were submitted for radiocarbon dating using the AMS technique, producing an uncalibrated radiocarbon date of 1070+/-30 BP which confirms a late Middle Woodland cultural affiliation.


Emory, Scott
  In prep Phase II report and data are currently under review by the Maryland Historical Trust and the State Highway Administration
McKnight, Justine W.
2011  Report on the Macro-botanical Remains Collected During Phase II Archaeological Investigations at
Site 18PG1024, Prince Georges County, Maryland
.  Submitted to RK&K, Baltimore, Maryland.

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