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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Wayne Clark, 09/1974
Buckingham Archaeological Site
Inventory No.:
Date Listed: 2/24/1975
Location: Worcester County
Category: Site
Period/Date of Construction: c. A.D. 100-1550
The nomination is marked Not for Public Access. Qualified Medusa accountholders should please contact the MHT Librarian for a copy.
Description: The Buckingham site has been surface collected by amateur archeologists and relic collectors for a considerable period of time. Material reportedly collected from the site’s surface includes mortars, hammerstones, an axe, broken pestles, projectile points, and a quantity of pottery. In September of 1944, a refuse pit was excavated, revealing oyster shell, a bone awl, and shell-tempered ceramics. Large natural-growth oyster shells constituted the bulk of the refuse, but there were also a few clam shells, and deer and turkey bones. Two components may be represented by the ceramic sample studied. The first component produced thick (c. .12cm) shell-tempered sherds with plain or fabric impressed exterior surfaces. The second component produced thin (c. .7-.9cm) shell tempered sherds with fabric impressed rims and body sherds. The first ceramic type cannot be positively identified as a diagnostic type, but may be Middle Woodland in date. The second is of the general Late Woodland Townsend Series found throughout the Chesapeake Bay Tidewater province. Identifiable ceramics included 71 Rappahannock fabric-impressed sherds, 10 Rappahannock incised (complex) sherds, 1 Rappahannock incised (horizontal) sherd, and 8 Townsend corded-horizontal sherds. One Steubenville side-notched point found on the surface may indicate use of the site as a Late Archaic short-term camp. Significance: The Buckingham site is one of the few known Woodland period village sites in the coastal marsh areas of the Atlantic Coast section of Maryland. While the cultural history of the site is undeveloped, archeological investigations to date indicate several Woodland period components and possibly Archaic components. A Middle Woodland component, which possibly participated in the extensive trade network in operation during that period, may be represented. The site falls within the general vicinity of an Assateague Indian town, although the limited investigation to date has failed to produce diagnostic contact material from the site. Like the Sandy Point site located four miles east, the Buckingham site is the southernmost reported occurrence of Townsend Series ceramics on the coastal section of the Eastern Shore.


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