18WA470 is a late 18th- and early 19th-century cemetery primarily associated with the German-American Wachtel family. Extended family members interred in the cemetery include individuals from the Bosey, Kershner, Stine, and Troup families.

Archaeological Investigations

The cemetery is situated on a relatively narrow finger ridge located along the northern side of Conococheague Creek and within the current boundaries of the Forty West Landfill. The topography to the east, south, and west of the cemetery is steeply sloping down toward a broad upland terrace along the creek, while the topography on the northern side of the site is relatively level. Expansion of the landfill necessitated site data recovery, which was conducted by R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates in 2003.

Phase III investigations included mechanical removal of all A horizon soils from the site, and complete excavation of 84 individuals interred at the cemetery. Re-interment occurred at St. Paul’s Cemetery in Clear Spring, Maryland. Speciation of coffin wood, osteological analysis of skeletal remains, and fabric analysis of cloth were accomplished during data recovery.

Archeobotancial Studies

Twenty samples of wood fibers collected from 20 grave shafts and thought to represent coffin wood were submitted for taxonomic identification. The samples contained small quantities of sediment. Uncarbonized wood remains totaled 720 fragments, weighing 471.55 grams. A sub-sample of 261 fragments of wood (a maximum of 20 fragments per sample) was randomly selected for identification. Generally, the recovered wood was highly degraded. Identified species included (in order of abundance) pine (65%), black walnut (21 %), walnut or hickory (5%), white oak (5%), deciduous taxa (3%), unspecified oak (1%), black cherry (<1%), and diffuse porous taxa (<1%). In addition, a single fragment of carbonized wood recovered from Feature 10 in association with copious non-carbonized pine wood fibers was identified as white oak. Justine McKnight performed the analysis.


Lowthert, William IV, Kathleen Child, Martha Williams, Christian Davenport, Kate Gallagher and Jennifer Evans
2004 Phase III Archeological Data Recovery Investigations at Site 18WA470 (Wachtel/Stine Cemetery), Washington County, Maryland. R. Christopher Goodwin and Associates, Inc.

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