Rich middens and intact subsurface features relating to early 19th-century rural, domestic occupation describe the Reiff site (18WA454), which is located on level uplands within a small, mid 19th-century commercial hamlet in the midst of rolling farmland.

Archaeological Investigations

Jim Gibb conducted Phase II and Phase III investigations at the Reiff site for MD Route 58 and Route 63 road development. Excavation, archival research, and subsequent analysis revealed the remains of a fieldstone footer and relatively intact deposits representing a c. 1820-1850 tenant occupation on the Jacob Zeller plantation.

Archeobotancial Studies

Archeobotanical studies at the Reiff site included routine soil sampling from test units during Phase III data recovery. A presence/absence analysis was conducted by Justine McKnight.

Standard 2-liter samples were retained from 8 contexts. Wood charcoal was present in eight of the nine flotation samples. Species identified include white oak, pine, American chestnut, and maple. Hickory nutshell was recovered from a single sample (N65 E95 Strat 6B). Seed remains were present in two samples (N10 E160 Strat 5 and N60 E 95 Strat 1). Identified species include grass, nightshade, dock, and goosefoot. Fungal remains were noted in a single sample (N60 E95 Strat 3).

The assemblage from the Reiff site is consistent with the 19th-century flora of Washington County and with our understanding of plant utilization during the early 1800s.


Gibb, James G.
2006 Median Ceramic Dates for Hagerstown Valley Pottery. Maryland Archeology 42 (1):15-23.
Gibb, James G. and Tara Pettit
1995 Phase I Intensive Archaeological Survey of Cearfoss Roundabout, MD 63 at MD 58, Washington County, Maryland, and Phase II Site Examination at the Reiff Site (18WA454).

Phase III Archaeological Data Recovery at the Reiff Site (18WA454), MD 63 at MD 58 Cearfoss Roundabout, Cearfoss, Washington County, Maryland.


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