Who we are

The Lost Towns Project is a team of professional archaeologists and historians, working closely with the government of Anne Arundel County, Maryland to discover and explore the County's rich heritage. The team is committed to sharing the discovery process of this incredible heritage with the public through hands-on experiences, publications, lectures, and exhibits. In this blog, we will share some of our exciting discoveries, updates, and events. Check out our website at www.losttownsproject.org for much more, or to learn how to become a volunteer or intern! No experience is required to assist us in field investigations, laboratory studies, archival research, and interpretive programs. Join us to rediscover the History in your own backyards!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Interns Blog: Piscataway Drill

For this blog, intern Stephanie Baldwin writes about an artifact that caught her eye in the field...

Piscataway Drill (rose quartz) – Late Archaic Period

Drill modified from a Piscataway point.
I chose to write about the Piscataway Drill that was found July 12, 2011 at Pig Point (18AN50) in Feature 11 Stratum G of Unit 51. Although I was working in Unit 80, not the feature that this point was found, the beauty of this point found at the same site sparked my interest in Late Archaic projectile points. This drill is made of a beautiful rose quartz. At the bottom of the drill there is a darker hue of rose/pink, and it gradually lightens into a light rose/pink at the tip.

This drill/knife could have possibly been made as a projectile point and re-sharpened into a drill or had been originally made as a drill. Although the tip of the drill/knife is broken off, it is evident to see that it has a drill shape to it. The term Piscataway [Stemmed] Points was coined by Stephenson, et al. in 1963. In the book Material Culture from Prehistoric Virginia, Wm Jack Hranicky explains the basic description of the Piscataway Points: “Stemmed; it is a small-to-medium, long and narrow point with contracting and pointed stems. Bases are usually pointed but rounded bases do occur” (614). This points date to the Late Archaic Period (3500 B.C. – 1000 B.C.).

A recent paper written by Al Luckenbach, Jessie Grow, and Shawn Sharpe explains some very interesting findings associated with Piscataway [Stemmed] Points. This paper describes the stratigraphy and chronology of the Pig Point site and discusses the regional implications of the results obtained for Piscataway and triangular points (Luckenbach et al.: 3). While triangle points are commonly associated with the Late Woodland period (A.D. 900 – A.D. 1650), triangle points at Pig Point are being found in situ and associated with Piscataway points from the Archaic period. This indicates that triangle points were used in at least two different periods of prehistory.    

Originally the beauty of this point caught my eye, but now the history behind this point makes it so much more fascinating! It proves what archaeologists' say, “It’s not what you find, but what you find out.”

No comments:

Post a Comment