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, December 9, 2011

Third Season Closing of Pig Point

Written by Stephanie Sperling, LTP Archaeologist

Al digs through the deep, sandy soils looking for a stratigraphic change.
  Notice the dark Woodland period horizons above the sandy
Archaic levels below.

After a productive and exciting 2011 dig season, we wrapped up fieldwork at Pig Point for the year.  Even though temperatures are still rather mild, it is difficult to dig into the deep, sandy blocks under the best of circumstances.  And the freeze/thaw cycle is a killer on the unit walls, sometimes resulting in total collapse.  So after nearly six feet of excavation in the newest block, it was time to close up and backfill.

The block was located next to an ancient spring that was used by the Native peoples at Pig Point.  This area of the site was later heavily utilized by the 18th century town residents, and we found deep post holes and a possible privy in the vicinity.  Despite the historic period disturbance, we found relatively intact prehistoric strata from the Late Woodland through the Late Archaic periods (ranging from about A.D. 1300 – 3500 B.C.).  Interestingly, we did not find any good diagnostic artifacts or features underneath the Late Archaic horizons, which is different from other parts of the site.  The sandy soils kept getting deeper and we saw no stratigraphic changes.  It seems likely that the spring must have been faster flowing during the Early and Middle Archaic, eroding this portion of the hill.    

We have plenty of lab work to keep us busy for the winter months.  Keep checking the blog for artifact updates or stop by the lab and see for yourself what we found last season!