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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Wayne Clark, 08/1974
Elkridge Prehistoric Village Archeological Site
Inventory No.:
Other Name(s): Stony Patapsco Site
Date Listed: 5/22/1978
Location: Anne Arundel County
Category: Site
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1800 B.C. to 1500 A.D.
The nomination is marked Not for Public Access. Qualified Medusa accountholders should please contact the MHT Librarian for a copy.
Description: Located on a 20-foot terrace above the Patapsco River near the mouths of three tributaries, the Elkridge site extends 1200 feet along the river and inland from 20-400 feet, to where the eastern portion of the site was destroyed by gravel removal around the turn of the 20th century. Cultural debris extends 14 to 16 inches from the surface through a mature soil profile disrupted only by a shallow plowzone created by non-mechanized cultivation. While Hurricane Agnes (1972) deposited from 3 to 12 inches of silt over the entire site, the soil profile indicates that flooding of the site is rare. Recovery of projectile points similar to the Koens-Crispin and the Susquehanna Broadspear types suggest intermittent occupation between 1800 and 1000 B.C. Accokeek ceramics and a few sherds of Popes Creek ceramics indicate Early and Middle Woodland occupations. The Late Woodland assemblages closely resemble the assemblages of the Sullivan Cove (700-1100 A.D.) and Little Round Bay (1100-1400 A.D.) phases. The distribution of artifacts from these components suggests extended, non-palisaded occupations extending over the entire site. The Little Round Bay phase component is followed by a Potomac Creek phase component, which appears on the basis of artifact distribution to be confined to the southeastern portion of the site. The village site could be palisaded, although direct evidence other than distribution data is lacking. The site appears to have been abandoned as a permanent village in the early 1500s. Significance: The Elkridge site is the only known Woodland period riverine-oriented village site in the tidewater Patapsco River valley which has at least partially escaped the totally destructive forces of gravel quarrying. Exavations from 1967 to 1969 revealed a record of discontinuous occupation from 1800 B.C. to 1500 A.D. The site potentially contains important data relevant for the understanding of the extension of the Potomac Creek phase to the north; the refinement of archeological interpretations of the Sullivan Cove and Little Round Bay phases; the delineation of the Selby Bay phase culture core area; and the formulation of settlement-subsistence pattern models for the various Woodland period cultures within the Middle and Upper Chesapeake Bay regions.


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