Site 18ST330 is a colonial Jesuit Manor at St. Inigoes in St. Mary’s County.  The Priest’s house and Chapel was built in 1705 and dismantled between 1740 and the 1760’s.    The site also includes the remains of a Late Archaic and Late Woodland period campsite and early to middle eighteenth century Jesuit occupations.  The site lies within the Patuxent River Naval Air Station’s Webster Field Annex.

Archaeological Investigations

The Old Chapel Field site is located on the north and south sides of Villa Road, immediately east and south of Buildings #52 and #53.  Plowed for centuries, the site has been disturbed by the construction of Villa Road and an adjacent utility trench, and by excavation by Jesuits in the 1930’s.  This early archaeological investigation consisted of stripping (and the replacing) the plowzone covering building foundations.

A preliminary archeological site inventory by Michael Smolek in 1981 included surface collection and excavation of a 1x1 meter test unit in the northeast corner of the site.  A series of 10 shovel tests were also excavation.  Work continued in 1983 with the excavation of 207 shovel tests on both sides of Villa Road and additional shovel tests and four 5x5 meter units in areas where intact subsurface remains were encountered.  Block surface collections were made.

Phase II investigations by the Louis Berger Group, Inc., were conducted in 2013.  Results are in preparation.

Archeobotanical Studies

Berger’s Phase II investigations included the collection, processing and analysis of two flotation samples from two cultural features at the Old Chapel Field Site.  Processing of 16.1 liters of cultural fill from Feature 2 (a shell/trash midden) and Feature 4 (a cellar hole) produced 24.795 grams of carbonized plant material (a mean average of 1.54 grams of carbonized material per liter of midden fill.

The recovered macro-botanical assemblage was rich in wood charcoal (oaks, hickory and yellow poplar were best-represented, maize, wheat or oats, and vegetal miscellany including fungi and amorphous carbon.  Wild plant foods were conspicuously absent from the floral assemblage.


McKnight, Justine W.
Archeobotany at the Old Chapel Field Site (18ST330) and Antenna Field Site (18ST386).  A Report on Flotation-recovered Plant Macro-remains from Phase II Investigations.  St. Mary’s County, Maryland.  Report submitted to the Louis Berger Group.  Washington D.C.  MHT # pending.

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