Site 18ST386 is Colonial house site and late Archaic and Woodland period short-term camp. The site lies on the east side of the St. Mary’s River on the the south side of a marsh pond tributary in a fallow field.  The site lies within the Patuxent River Naval Airs Station’s Webster Field Annex.

Archaeological Investigations

The Antenna Field site was originally surveyed in the 1980’s (Smolek 1981; Smolek et al. 1983, King and Pogue 1985) and a c. 1660-1690 colonial domestic site approximately 200 feet square on the western edge of the Antenna field on the NESEA property was described.  The site was likely a small tenant farmer occupation.  The structure was most likely a post-supported frame building with at least one chimney partly constructed of brick.  The 1982 survey recovered a scatter of prehistoric artifacts, including one Holmes appoint and one Brewerton point.  The 1985 survey recovered 89 lithis one mortar, and seven small, unidentified shell-tempered pottery fragments.

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 three flotation samples for the recovery of plant macro-remains.  A total of six liters of fill were processed from Feature 10A (a sheet/kitchen midden), Feature 12A (a trash/storage pit) and Feature 13A (a trash/storage pit).  Flotation processing produced 0.795 grams of carbonized plant macro-remains.

Recovered archeobotanical remains include wood charcoal (pine and hickory dominated the identified wood assemblage), thick-walled hickory nutshell and maize (corn).  In addition to these carbonized macro-botanical remains, small quantities of uncarbonized seeds were observed in 2 of the 3 analyzed flotation samples.  Wood charcoal was recovered from 100 percent of the flotation samples analyzed from the Antenna Field Site.  Wood charcoal fragments total 117 fragments weighing 0.78 grams (over 98 percent of the total carbonized plant macro-remains recovered). Of this total, a sub-sample of 54 fragments (a maximum of 20 fragments per sample) was randomly selected for identification.  Pine (Pinus spp.) (13 fragments or 24 percent of the subsample selected for identification) dominated the assemblage, with hickory (Carya spp.) (nine fragments or 17 percent), white oak (Quercus spp. LEUCOBALANUS group) (three fragments or six percent) and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) (one fragment or two percent).  Twenty-eight charcoal fragments not minimally classifiable to plant family were classed as ‘deciduous’ and account for 52 percent of the assemblage.  Nut remains were limited to a single fragment of thick-walled hickory (Carya spp.) recovered from Feature 12A.  The specimen weighted 0.01 grams.  Maize (corn) (Zea mays spp. mays) is represented at the Antenna Field Site by the presence of a single cupule fragment from Feature 10A.

Low numbers of uncarbonized seeds were observed within the Feature 10A and Feature 13A flotation samples from the Antenna Field Site.  Copperleaves (Acalypha spp.), pigweed (Amaranthus sp.), goosefoot/pigweed (Chenopodium/Amaranthus), carpetweed (Mollugo verticillata), panic or foxtail grass (Panicum/Setaria), purselane (Portulaca oleracea), and raspberry or blackberry (Rubus spp.) were identified.   All identified seeds represent common modern weed species common to the area.  It is the opinion of the analyst that these seeds are unrelated to historic occupations at the site.


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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