Archeological Site Survey, Basic Data Report, BPI_0528, N.D.

Part of the Blossom Point Project Page (DRAFT) project

Year: 2018


This shell midden was originally recorded by Wilke and Thompson. The site covers approximately 4 acres and consists of scattered to dense whole valves of C. Virginica. The periphery of the site has been disturbed by an access road and bulldozing activities. The deposit varies in thickness but was revealed by probing to be at least 15" deep. A complete surface inspection of the site revealed numerous flakes and chunks of quartz and quartzite as well as several sherds of Potomac Creek ceramics. One radiocarbon sample was obtained from the basal portion of the midden, which provided an age determination of 1975 years +/- 50, thus placing the initial deposit at least in the Middle Woodland period. The presence of Potomac Creek wares on the site surface indicate the existence of superimposed Late Woodland occupation.

MAAR found two fire-cracked rocks and a small quantity of shell in one stp in this site area during shovel testing and probing of the northern (wooded) section of the site. No subsurface testing by MAAR was conducted in the southern portion of the site. Based on the assumption that the site is disturbed, MAAR Associates recommended 18CH227 as ineligible for the NRHP.

Phase II fieldwork by Tetra Tech commenced at the site in February 1999. A pedestrian survey was conducted in the cleared portion of the site and along the coastline. During this survey, shell was noted eroding out of the bluff along the entire coastline from King's Creek shouth to the marsh and east along the marsh edge to the springhead. More shell was present in the southern portion of the site than in the northern portion. In addition, a number of artifacts were recovered from the beach area including diagnostic projectile points and prehistoric pottery, other stone tools and debitage, and fire-cracked rock. Subsurface testing included 203 shovel test pits at 15m intervals, and 13 excavation units. Surface collection, shovel testing, and unit excavations led to the recoery of 1145 artifacts. A total of 981 are

prehistoric, 134 are historic, 25 could not be identified as to period, two were modem, and three were non-cultural items that were retained. Stratigraphically, materials were found distributed throughout the column, with just over half of the artifacts found found during Test Unit excavation (n-467) coming from the surface, plowzone, or A horizon. Remaining artifacts were found in either feature (n=79) or B horizon (n=331) soils. Four features were identified, including:

1) A shallow pit, possibly shell-lined, with possible Mockley sherds, debitage, fire-cracked rock, burnt wood, nuts/seeds, bone and shell. A 10-liter sample of the feature fill was taken for paleobotanical analysis and charcoal samples were taken for C14 dating. The samples were dated at 3370 +/- 90 BP (Beta-140957), which places the feature in the Early Woodland period.

2) In the southwestern portion of the same unit, Feature 2 was a steep-walled pit filled with oyster shell, some of which was burnt. Fire-cracked rock was also found. Marcey Creek sherds found in this unit may have come from this feature. A 10-liter soil sample was retained for paleobotanical analysis and charcoal for C14 dating. Flotation led to the recovery of white oak and ash wood charcoal, and 22 burnt hickory shell fragments.

3) A rounded, shallow, basin-shaped feature identified at the interface between Zones B and C. Feature fill was the same as the surrounding matrix, but with a concentration of shell and light charcoal flecking. Artifacts were limited to 2 fire-cracked rocks.

4) A recent historic post feature. Artifacts recovered include a metal ordnance fragment, fire-cracked rock, and a Holmes projectile point. The prehistoric materials appear to have been incorporated into the feature fill inadvertantly.

Diagnostic artifacts recovered included 9 Marcey Creek-like ceramics, 1 Selden Island fragment, 10 possible Accokeek sherds, 14 probable Popes Creek sherds, 11 Mockley sherds, 107 Potomac Creek sherds, 2 Rappahannock sherds, 1 Morrow Mountain point, 4 Savannah River-Holmes variants, 1 Late Woodland Triangle point, and 1 Levanna point.

Historic artifacts recovered during Phase II testing included 49 wrought nails, 43 pipe fragments, 3 earthenware (2 possible Staffordshire pottery, 4 stoneware (including white salt-glazed stoneware, 1740-1775), 25 redware, 1 Westerwald (1700-1775) sherd, indicating a possible 18th century domestic occupation. Most ceramics were remains of coarse everyday cooking or serving pieces; no porcelain or fine wares were recovered, in keeping with an agricultural home, possibly a tenant farmhouse that existed within the Jesuit plantation holdings.

Cite this Record

Archeological Site Survey, Basic Data Report, BPI_0528, N.D.. 2018 ( tDAR id: 440988) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8440988

Spatial Coverage

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

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
BPI_0528_ArcheologicalSiteSurveyBasicDataReport18CH227_1995_OC... 3.86mb Mar 15, 2018 7:37:52 AM Confidential

Accessing Restricted Files

At least one of the files for this resource is restricted from public view. For more information regarding access to these files, please reference the contact information below

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