Site 18TA315 lies on the southwest side of Dover Road (Maryland Route 331) near the Choptank River.  Historic occupations at the site were focused during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  A Late Woodland component has also been identified.

Archaeological Investigations

Phase III data recovery investigations by TRC Garrow, Inc. and the Maryland State Highway Administration in advance of roadway improvements to Maryland Route 331 associated with the bridge over the Choptank River. 

Phase III report and details are in preparation.

Archeobotanical Studies

Site 18TA315 corresponds with the location of an historic roadway and ferry crossing (patented ca. 1796) which provides an opportunity to explore the private or public nature of the settlement and the ethnobotany of the people who occupied the property.  Archaeological plant remains were sampled from a diverse array of cultural features representing a variety of functional types.
Phase III Data Recovery included the collection of 1,520 liters of cultural soil (90 cultural proveniences) which were subjected to flotation processing.  Of these processed flotation samples, 30 processed flotation samples derived from a total of 595 liters of original soil volume were selected for macro-botanical analysis from Site 18TA315.  These samples hail from 12 cultural features conforming to four feature types: root cellar, pits, possible posts, and storage features. 

An estimated 501.75 liters of this total was the subject of macro-botanical analysis (adjusted for the sub-sample of the three large flotation samples from Features 29 and 39).  A total of 935.98 grams of carbonized archaeological plant material was recovered (a mean average of approximately 1.8654 grams per liter of feature soil).  The samples contained the remains of both deciduous and coniferous woods, black walnut and hickory nutshells, the field crops maize (corn), beans and wheat, carbonized seeds, and a variety of miscellaneous plant artifacts.  Uncarbonized (modern) seeds were present in some samples.

A subsistence focus on the field crops maize, beans and wheat is evident, and black walnuts were heavily utilized, along with fleshy fruits (grape, cherries).  Feature 29 (interpreted as a storage shed or corn crib) was notably food rich, but all non-post feature types sampled produced an array of plant food products.   It remains unclear whether Site 18TA315 functioned as a family domicile or a crossroads commercial tavern.   Importantly, data recovery at Site 18TA315 provides the first systematically collected archeobotanical dataset from the seventeenth/eighteenth century period of history on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.   


In production  Phase III report by TRC Solutions, Inc.

McKnight, Justine W.
2011 Report on the Analysis of Archeobotanical Remains Collected During Phase III Data Recovery at Site 18TA315, Talbot County, Maryland.  Submitted to TRC Garrow, Inc., Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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