August was a busy month for the Dovetail lab, with the Warwick collection being our top priority. The Warwick site is located at the very southern tip of the Route 301 corridor; it is actually in the State of Maryland rather than Delaware, requiring coordination with both states. The site dates from the Late Archaic through the Early Woodland Period with the assemblage being dominated by lithics, although a stray piece of bottle glass did find its way into the assemblage. All debitage was categorized by basic types (i.e., primary, secondary, tertiary) and then further classified by size, weight, material type and any additional characteristics that would add to the understanding of the lithic reduction process at the site. This categorization was completed on the materials recovered from the daily site field excavation, as well as from the flotation samples which included a moderate number of very small lithics (also known as micro debitage). Variation in the density of microdebitage largely mirrored that of larger debitage fragments, suggesting limited site maintenance and short-term occupation. Small, late-stage flakes dominated the macroscopic collection, indicating initial reduction of cobbles had occurred elsewhere in the region.
A use-wear analysis was completed by Dr. Mike Klein on all projectile points, bifaces and unifaces. Although the predominance of fractures on the upper third of many point blades implied that most of the points broke during use by Native American people, use-wear analysis identified striations consistent with use as knifes as well as projectiles. Edge damage on the stem and lowermost portion of the blades confirmed the inference that most had been hafted or attached to a spear or arrow. Rounding and polish on an extensively reworked point indicated use on silica-rich materials, like plants, while edge damage observed on a flake suggested that larger flakes had been used as cutting tools. The collection provided Dovetail, DelDOT, and both the Delaware and Maryland SHPOs with a new set of data on a notable prehistoric occupation of this region.