Archaeological Investigations at the Posey Site (18CH281) and 18CH282 Indian Head Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (2005.012)

Part of: US Naval Support Facility, Indian Head, Maryland

The two sites were located and initially tested during a survey of limited portions of the facility in 1985. At that time, the Posey Site was interpreted as a probable Contact Period deposit thought to date from ca. 1600 A.D. to an unknown terminal point. Several intact subsurface features were discovered, one of which yielded material radiocarbon dated to 1575 +/- 90 years A.D.

The fieldwork conducted during the present investigation consisted of the excavation of 510 shovel test pits and 37 1.5-by-1.5-meter units. Several features - including postmolds, a possible pit, and sections of an intact midden deposit - were located and some were excavated or tested. This report describes the results of this fieldwork as well as a reanalysis of the 1985 materials.

Approximately 8000 artifacts and 4000 fragments of faunal material were recovered during the present project. Artifacts included large amounts of ceramic, lithic materials, hand wrought nails, brass fragments and other metal artifacts, bottle glass, shell and glass beads, and other materials. The majority of the ceramic assemblage was Potomac Creek Plain, although lesser amounts of Camden, Yeocomico, and several types of wheel thrown wares were also recovered. Lithic materials included European flint as well as local quartz, quartzite, and chert. Faunal materials consisted primarily of indigenous bone fragments, and indicated exploitation of adjacent woodland and riverine environments. Five pig tooth fragments, however, raise important questions about the diet of the site’s occupants, although the majority of the faunal materials were recovered from plow disturbed contexts.

Artifacts recovered from the site indicate a single occupation component, probably Native American, dating to the period between 1650 and 1700 A.D. The site functioned as a locus for the manufacture of trade goods, and for the reprocessing of materials acquired through trade. Changes in the morphology of ceramic vessels produced on the site have been interpreted as indicative of a transitional phase in a process of Native American cultural change that occurred through the second half of the 17th century.

The results of the fieldwork and subsequent analysis support a determination of National Register significance for the Posey Site.

This contains contains digital materials from this archaeological investigation of the Posey Site, Indian Head, Maryland as well as from the Colonial Encounters: The Lower Potomac River Valley at Contact, 1500-1720 AD project.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-12 of 12)

Archaeological Investigations at the Posey Site (18CH281) and 18CH282 Indian Head Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (2005.012)