Archeological Site Survey, Basic Data Report, BPI_0525, N.D.

Part of the Blossom Point Project Page (DRAFT) project

Year: 2018


Wilke and Thompson noted a shell midden with Popes Creek pottery. Geo-Recon found numerous water rolled quartzite flakes and chunks on the beach below the eroding cliff line. A hammerstone and quartzite stemmed projectile point were also observed. The source of these secondary deposits is likely the adjacent cliff though whether the majority of the artifacts are coming from the shell associated occupation or perhaps a subshell occupation is unknown at this time. No diagnostic artifacts were located on the beach though one sherd of Popes Creek Net Impressed pottery was observed on the midden surface, thus suggesting at least a Middle Woodland age for the deposit. Geo-Recon speculated that the presence of large quartzite flakes might suggest that much of the debitage may relate to Late Archaic occupation.

1993: The site contains a dense shell midden (up to 2 feet in thickness) that may include components of both Late Archaic and Early Woodland derivation. One area of the site contained a series of five distinct stratigraphic levels within the midden. These levels are likely to contain perishable aboriginal food resources. 27 ceramic sherds were found during Phase I testing by MAAR recovered a point fragment, fire-cracked rocks, and other lithics through shovel testing at 20m intervals. Bone fragments were collected as well. A scatter of 17th century artifacts were also found, indicating a previously unknown historic component. These included: 1 Staffordshire slipware combed rim fragment, 1 tin-glazed earthenware fragment, 1 white-bodied earthenware rim fragment, 1 black-glazed red earthenware fragment, 1 gray salt-glazed stoneware fragment, 1 white clay pipe stem fragment, 1 milky glass fragment, 2 wrought nails, and 10 brick fragments.

12/2000 Phase II testing by Tetra Tech involved 122 shovel test pits (77 at 15m intervals and 45 as 5m interval radials), 76 of which were positive, and six 1x2m test units. Excavations led to the recovery of 1742 artifacts, including both prehistoric and historic items. Diagnostic materials found during the investigation include a few Late Archaic Period projectile point fragments (2 possible Savannah River, 1 possible Savannah River Koens Crispin Variant), Middle Woodland Period pottery (54 Popes Creek sherds, 2 Mockley sherds), and 18th century historic artifacts (58 wrought nails, 7 tin-glazed earthenware, 2 creamware, 3 gunflint fragments, 21 kaolin pipe fragments). Prehistoric and historic features were found, including prehistoric shell middens, a possible prehistoric hearth, a lithic workshop area, and historic pit and post features. In addition, shovel test pit excavation led to the identification of at least six historic period burials on the site.

A Late Archaic component appears to be located primarily in the central to western portion of the site, whereas the Middle Woodland component is most visible to the east along the shoreline. The historic cemetery is located in the north central portion of the site, and the remains of an 18th century domestic occupation are located in the central portion of the site. The Late Archaic period occupation, suggested by the volume of quartzite debitage and stone tool fragments, appears to have been a lithic workshop and short-term campsite. The Middle Woodland period site is also a campsite, most likely focusing on the seasonal procurement and processing of oysters. The historic component consists of the remains associated with a domestic site occupied in the mid 1700s by a John Butler and his family. The cemetery is probably associated with the domestic site. However, the possibility that the cemetery is associated with another occupation elsewhere nearby cannot be eliminated based on the work conducted to date.

Cite this Record

Archeological Site Survey, Basic Data Report, BPI_0525, N.D.. 2018 ( tDAR id: 440986) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8440986

Spatial Coverage

min long: -79.514; min lat: 38.565 ; max long: -76.349; max lat: 39.749 ;

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Contact(s): US Army Corps of Engineers Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections, St. Louis District