Governor Martin O’Malley has proclaimed April Maryland Archeology Month, and the Maryland Historical Trust is pleased to be leading the celebration! With its many treasured sites, including Fort Frederick, the U.S.S. Scorpion, St. Mary’s City, Piscataway Park, and the recently located Zekiah Fort, Maryland is truly rich archeologically.
This year’s Maryland Archeology Month theme, Points in Time: Formal Biface Typology in Maryland, focuses attention on certain artifacts rather than the sites on which they are found. Of all the bits of antiquity strewn across Maryland over the past 13 millennia perhaps none is more iconic that the arrowhead. Yet only a tiny fraction of the items popularly termed “arrowhead” ever tipped a bow-shot arrow. Most were spear points, and many were hafted knives. While differing in function, all projectile points (as archeologists commonly refer to them) have something important in common; each reflects a style that was used for a restricted period of time, ranging from several thousand to several hundred years. As a result, the classification of these artifacts has been a favorite endeavor of archeologists for many decades.
This year the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory launched the latest addition their wildly popular diagnostic artifact website on Maryland Projectile Points. This new module pulls together defining attributes, the initial reference in the literature, photographs of typical specimens, and published radiocarbon dates on Maryland point types, and also contains essays on pertinent topics, such as manufacture, use, and typology.
To view the Maryland Archeology Month poster, with interactive links to the projectile point module, please visit the website of the Archeological Society of Maryland. While you’re there, explore the calendar of Archeology Month events (lectures, presentations, workshops, and fieldwork opportunities). There are opportunities get involved in the archeological exploration of Maryland’s past throughout the state, and throughout the year as well.
For more information about Maryland Archeology Month, or about volunteer opportunities, contact Charlie Hall, and keep focused on “the point”:
Maryland’s archeology belongs to us all!