National Register Eligibility Evaluations of Sites 18ST659 and 18ST754 and Data Recovery Excavations at Site 18ST659, VXX Presidential Helicopter Facility, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, St. Mary’s County, Maryland


Phase II evaluative testing of archaeological sites 18ST659 and 18ST754 and Phase III data recovery of archaeological site 18ST659, both in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, were conducted in support of the new VXX Presidential Helicopter Program Support Facility at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Both sites are located on terrace landforms adjacent to Harper’s Creek near the mouth of the Patuxent River. The overall purpose of evaluative testing was to determine whether the sites contained sufficient research data and met eligibility requirements for listing in the National Register. The Phase II findings determined that site 18ST754 did not possess high research value and did not meet the eligibility criteria for the National Register. Site 18ST659, however, contained high research value based on the presence of in situ cultural features and a high density of prehistoric material remains and was determined eligible for inclusion in the National Register.

In order to mitigate new construction impacts to site 18ST659, Phase III data recovery investigations were undertaken. The purpose of the investigations was to closely examine the archaeological deposits and collect sufficient data to address important research themes on the prehistory of the local area and the Chesapeake Bay region. Data recovery excavations consisted of manual excavation of a total of 144 m2 in four block excavations, followed by machine stripping of three 10-x-20-m areas and one 10-x-10-m area of the site in order to expose features, analyze site deposits, and recover artifactual data. In total, 25,137 artifacts were recovered from the Phase III excavations and 51 features were identified. Among the collection of artifacts are 395 lithic tools, 15,382 pieces of debitage, and 813 faunal items.

Based upon 10 radiocarbon dates obtained from the investigations, coupled with analysis of projectile point styles, the prehistoric occupations of site 18ST659 were found to have spanned several thousand years; however, the primary focus of the settlement was during the late Middle Archaic to early Late Archaic subperiods. Important Middle to Late Archaic material remains were highlighted by the presence of carbonized hickory nutshell found in association with large stone grinding implements. Sporadic use of the site by later period Woodland groups was confirmed through the recovery of approximately 70 Woodland ceramic sherds in site deposits. Four research themes identified in Maryland’s Comprehensive Historic Preservation Plan were addressed in the analysis of site deposits, including (1) Subsistence; (2) Lithic Technology and Sourcing; (3) Settlement Pattern/Community Pattern; and (4) Environmental Adaptation.

Adverse effects to archaeological resources from construction of the new VXX Presidential Helicopter Program Support Facility were mitigated through the execution of this work plan. All artifacts and site records will be permanently curated and made available for future researchers at the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory, Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum.

Cite this Record

National Register Eligibility Evaluations of Sites 18ST659 and 18ST754 and Data Recovery Excavations at Site 18ST659, VXX Presidential Helicopter Facility, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Timothy R. Sara, David M. Franz, Paul Presenza. 2006 ( tDAR id: 393605) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8WW7JQ6

Spatial Coverage

min long: -76.423; min lat: 38.281 ; max long: -76.386; max lat: 38.31 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory Federal Curator; Michael Smolek

Contributor(s): David M. Franz; Robert D. Wall; Lee Ann Newsom; Trina Arpin; Paul Goldberg

Field Director(s): Paul Presenza

Principal Investigator(s): Timothy R. Sara

Sponsor(s): Navy

Repository(s): Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory

Prepared By(s): Geo-Marine, Inc.

Record Identifiers

Task Order Number(s): 0070

MAC Lab Lot Number(s): 18ST659/203; 18ST659/811; 18ST659/249; 18ST659/777; 18ST659/234; 18ST659/231; 18ST659/141; 18ST659/182; 18ST659/175; 18ST659/170; 18ST659/783; 18ST659/210; 18ST659/256; 18ST754/66; 18ST659/251; 18ST754/71; 18ST754/54; 18ST659/244; 18ST659/190; 18ST659/799; 18ST659/162; 18ST659/195; 18ST659/148; 18ST659/246; 18ST754/38; 18ST659/146; 18ST659/176; 18ST659/221; 18ST659/245; 18ST659/197; 18ST659/206; 18ST754/44; 18ST659/174; 18ST659/193; 18ST659/201; 18ST659/173; 18ST659/772; 18ST659/224; 18ST659/168; 18ST754/47; 18ST659/764; 18ST659/155; 18ST659/181; 18ST659/798; 18ST754/50; 18ST659/257; 18ST659/225; 18ST659/218; 18ST659/774; 18ST754/68; 18ST659/154; 18ST659/790; 18ST659/149; 18ST754/49; 18ST659/216; 18ST659/243; 18ST659/263; 18ST659/150; 18ST659/262; 18ST659/184; 18ST754/48; 18ST659/137; 18ST659/160; 18ST659/192; 18ST659/172; 18ST659/189; 18ST754/64; 18ST659/773; 18ST659/238; 18ST659/204; 18ST659/796; 18ST659/769; 18ST659/227; 18ST659/254; 18ST659/134; 18ST754/51; 18ST659/787; 18ST659/765; 18ST754/56; 18ST659/814; 18ST659/788; 18ST659/143; 18ST754/37; 18ST659/771; 18ST659/778; 18ST659/178; 18ST754/53; 18ST659/207; 18ST659/250; 18ST659/789; 18ST659/152; 18ST754/45; 18ST754/69; 18ST659/183; 18ST659/239; 18ST659/209; 18ST659/793; 18ST659/217; 18ST659/248; 18ST754/67; 18ST659/144; 18ST659/147; 18ST659/136; 18ST659/177; 18ST659/200; 18ST754/58; 18ST754/41; 18ST659/212; 18ST659/785; 18ST659/188; 18ST659/797; 18ST754/55; 18ST659/812; 18ST659/199; 18ST659/228; 18ST659/232; 18ST659/138; 18ST659/135; 18ST659/775; 18ST659/252; 18ST659/165; 18ST754/62; 18ST659/229; 18ST659/196; 18ST659/185; 18ST659/208; 18ST659/813; 18ST659/166; 18ST659/202; 18ST659/153; 18ST659/236; 18ST659/161; 18ST659/167; 18ST754/61; 18ST659/169; 18ST659/179; 18ST659/791; 18ST659/260; 18ST659/253; 18ST659/198; 18ST659/142; 18ST754/39; 18ST659/157; 18ST659/187; 18ST754/46; 18ST659/180; 18ST659/780; 18ST659/255; 18ST659/211; 18ST754/57; 18ST659/158; 18ST659/258; 18ST659/241; 18ST659/223; 18ST659/194; 18ST659/214; 18ST659/235; 18ST754/63; 18ST659/230; 18ST754/42; 18ST659/770; 18ST754/60; 18ST659/186; 18ST659/242; 18ST754/70; 18ST659/794; 18ST659/247; 18ST659/191; 18ST659/213; 18ST659/219; 18ST659/171; 18ST659/264; 18ST659/800; 18ST754/59; 18ST754/36; 18ST659/784; 18ST754/65; 18ST659/156; 18ST659/261; 18ST659/786; 18ST659/792; 18ST659/782; 18ST659/159; 18ST659/164; 18ST659/145; 18ST659/768; 18ST659/237; 18ST659/163; 18ST659/226; 18ST659/265; 18ST659/795; 18ST659/781; 18ST659/259; 18ST659/151; 18ST659/140; 18ST659/220; 18ST659/205; 18ST659/222; 18ST659/776; 18ST659/767; 18ST659/215; 18ST659/779; 18ST754/40; 18ST659/233; 18ST659/766; 18ST659/240; 18ST754/52

Contract Number(s): N62470–02–D–9997

MAC Lab Accession Number(s): 2006.055; 2006.055


General Note: The following physical records are held at MAC Lab: Field Notes, Maps,Oversized Maps, Artifact Catalog, Report, Black & White Negatives, Photologs, List of Documentation

General Note: Date Collected:8/2004-5/2005

Redaction Note: This document has been redacted. Contact the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory for access to a non-redacted copy.

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
PaxRiverVXX_rpt_final.pdf 133.81mb Jul 30, 2014 10:28:12 AM Confidential
PaxRiverVXX_rpt_final_Redacted.pdf 47.20mb Jul 31, 2014 1:57:21 PM Confidential
This document has been redacted. Contact the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory for access to a non-redacted copy.

Accessing Restricted Files

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Contact(s): Michael Smolek; Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory Federal Curator