Watch as Mike Klein, Archaeologist, from Dovetail Cultural Resource Group discusses the excavations at the Warwick Native American Archaeology site for the US RT 301 project.
Watch as Michael Carmody, Archaeologist, from Dovetail Cultural Resource Group gives an update on the excavations at the Warwick Native American Archaeology site.
Continuing work at the Warwick Site completed the excavation of roughly half of the open units. Plowing, among other processes, appears to have obliterated any evidence for structures, hearths, or storage pits. For the most part, artifacts occurred in the plow zone and the uppermost portion of the subsoil. Below that depth, artifact density dropped precipitously, with only a few small pieces of sharpening debris from stone tools were recovered per level. Although archaeological sites exhibiting a layer-cake accumulation of living surfaces from different periods of time are known in the northern Delmarva Peninsula, plowing, burrowing, and roots likely explain the artifacts recovered below the uppermost portion of the subsoil at the Warwick Site. .
Various point forms traditionally assigned to the Late Archaic and Early Woodland periods, similar to those recovered during the earlier fieldwork, have been recovered. Yellowish brown jasper appears to predominate, though red jasper, gray chert, quartz, and quartzite have been recovered. Tools include a few bifaces and unifaces, the latter including a few with tools with steep edge angles typical of hide scrapers. Scattered fire-cracked rock has been recovered; the sole potential feature, however, is three fired rock fragments at the interface between the plow zone and subsoil. The generally low artifact density and predominance of small sharpening flakes seems consistent with tool sharpening and limited food preparation by small groups during short-term stays, the sort of behavior described by studies of locations where modern Arctic hunters monitor game trails. Further excavation during the next session of fieldwork, of course, could identify a long-buried deposit of artifacts, the remains of shelters and hearths, or areas where different types of artifacts cluster.