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Maryland's National Register Properties

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Heath Farm Jasper Quarry Archeological Site
Inventory No.:
Date Listed: 12/16/1983
Location: Cecil County
Category: Site
Period/Date of Construction: 8000 B.C. -1000 A.D.
Related Multiple Property Record: Prehistoric Quarries of the Delaware Chalcedony Complex
The nomination is marked Not for Public Access. Qualified Medusa accountholders should please contact the MHT Librarian for a copy.
Description: The Heath Farm Jasper Quarry site is located on a knoll south of a small tributary stream which flows into Big Elk Creek. Two activity areas were identified at the site: the quarry area and a primary lithic reduction area. The outcropping is extensive in this area, with brownish jasper boulders extending 400 meters along the knoll. Some darker black colored boulders are also present. Smaller weathered spalls are also present across the slope. The jasper is of quite variable quality; however, large quantities of material usable for tool manufacture are present. Informants indicate quarry pits were once present, but have been destroyed by I-95 construction. Associated with the quarry is quarry debris which extends along the north side of the small stream. The primary reduction locus lies to the south of the stream and collections from the site contain primary stage jasper bifaces. No diagnostic artifacts have been identified at the quarry itself. However, the nearby Heath Farm Camp site, associated with this quarry, has turned up Middle and Late Archaic points. Significance: This site is one of the larger quarry reduction sites in the Delaware Chalcedony Complex and shows a wide range of artifacts indicative of procurement and early stage manufacture of stone tools. It is one component of the third quarry system identified within the group. The site is associated with a nearby secondary reduction station and camp. The investigations of the remaining portion of the site permitted delineation of the site boundaries and analysis of horizontal patterning at the site is possible. The analysis of the artifact assemblage will provide additional data on prehistoric lithic exploitation available to the testing of existing models. The sites listed in the Delaware Chalcedony Complex Thematic Group contain artifacts indicative of the entire series of tool production activities for the prehistoric inhabitants of the Upper Delmarva Peninsula region. For most prehistoric groups of this region stone tools were the basis of their food procurement and processing activities and the manufacture of these tools was a critical activity in their lives. Therefore, the sites in this particular group provide an opportunity to study an important activity of prehistoric groups that should shed considerable light on their adaptations and lifeways. The significance of the sites in this group is underscored by the fact that the cryptocrystalline outcrops of the Delaware Chalcedony Complex are unique to the Upper Delmarva Peninsula. Each site represents one or more spatially separated stages in the sequence of lithic procurement and utilization. Therefore, the sites must be considered collectively, within the context of the group, in order to illustrate the entire process.


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