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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: Wayne Clark, 08/1974
Sandy Point Archeological Site
Inventory No.:
Date Listed: 4/28/1975
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 Sandy Point site contains the southernmost component of the Townsend Series on the Delaware Peninsula and is one of the few known Woodland period village sites in this area. Amateur archeological investigations in 1944 revealed several large pits containing faunal remains, pottery, and charcoal. Two dog burials were found in one of these pits. Some of the pits were flat-bottomed and lined with clam shells, and charcoal and other evidence of fire was found just above the shells. Prior to the 1944 visit, local amateurs reported finding human skeletal remains at the site. After the storm of August, 1933, an infant burial was found washing out of the bank of Sinepuxent Bay. Prior to this, local amateurs report, an ossuary was found eroding from the same bank, about 75 feet from where the pits were found in 1944. Three peach pits recovered from one pit suggest the site was occupied during the protohistoric period, ca. 1500s. The site may be valuable for studies of early direct or indirect European contact with the native populations of the Atlantic coast. H.G. Omwake, in his 1944 excavations, found the remains of a large clay vessel. This was represented by two dozen fragments of "very crude ware, tempered with coarse grains of crushed quartzite" which "bore a well worn basket weave impression on its outer surface." The inner face had been smoothed by rubbing a rough implement in a vertical motion from the bottom to the top. The fragments varied from 3/8 to 1/2" in thickness. The Townsend Series pottery was much more numerous at the site, and so probably the site at least was extensively used during the Late Woodland. Grit-tempered pottery sherds removed from the site’s eroding bank may represent a Middle Woodland component to the site. This series occurs throughout the Delmarva Peninsula as a minority type at most sites. Significance: The Sandy Point site contains the southernmost component of the Townsend Series known on the Delmarva Peninsula and is one of the few known Woodland Period village sites in this area. Amateur archeological investigations in 1944 revealed several large pits containing faunal remains, ceramics, and charcoal. While the construction of two houses over the site in 1946 destroyed a portion of the site, the erection of a bulkhead along the Sinepuxent Bay and the covering of the site with lawns has prevented additional disturbance.

 

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