- Get Involved
- About Us
The Pump Site (44FX2257) is located in the southwest corner of the Barnsfield Road/Route 28 interchange (see Figure 7-7) Phase II evaluation was recommended when, as a result of Phase I investigation, the Pump Site was judged to be potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion D (as a property that has yielded or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history). Phase II evaluation was conducted at the Pump Site to explore the possible connection of the archeological site to the Lee-Tuberville occupation of the area (Section 4), to examine the boundaries and subsurface contents of the site and to evaluate its integrity and its potential to contribute important information to area history or prehistory.
Phase II fieldwork at the Pump Site was completed in July 1997. The work involved excavation of eight 5 by 5 foot test units, and excavation of additional shovel test pits. The additional shovel test pits, some of which were outside of the area of potential effect, served to define the site boundary and to identify artifact concentrations with greater precision than was accomplished with the Phase I work. (The results of the shovel test pit surveys were included in the summary of the Phase I findings.) This section (Section 8) will focus on the results of the test unit excavation, including data from the Phase I fieldwork as appropriate. As is described below, the Phase II worked confirmed what was found during Phase I shovel test pit excavation in terms of artifact types present and spatial distribution of deposits.
The Pump Site is situated on a small gently sloping knoll surrounded by relatively flat ground (Figure 8-1). The slope is steepest to the west at approximately 7% off horizontal. A historic hand-operated water pump is located approximately 100 feet northwest of the main site area. An abandoned road lined with cedar trees runs in an approximately north to south direction past the pump. Artifacts found in shovel test pits along this road include whiteware and bottle glass. A clearing is located on the summit and the western slope of the knoll. The loblolly pines planted across the remainder of the west cloverleaf do not grow in this area; the area is covered with vines, blackberry, green briar, and shrubs. Cedar and pine trees surround the clearing.
Test units were placed in areas of high artifact concentrations as identified by Phase I shovel testing. Units 1 and 7 were located near the western base of the knoll, adjacent to the most productive Phase I shovel test (T-5). Unit 3 was placed on the western slope of the knoll where a brick fragment was found on the surface. Unit 4 was placed five feet northwest of the water pump to investigate resources contemporary to the pump and possible earlier resources associated with the water source. Unit 6 is in the clearing near the top of the knoll. Unit 5 is on the north side of the knoll-top, adjacent to shovel test pit T-4. Unit 8 is on the east side of the knoll-top. Unit 2 was placed near the bottom of the gentle down-slope to the east, adjacent to shovel test pit U-3.
The Pump Site appears to be a small domestic site probably occupied by tenant farmers from the end of the eighteenth century through the mid nineteenth century. The site continued to be utilized after this date, but the largest percentage of artifacts dates to the Early National (1789 to 1830) and Antebellum (1830 to 1860) periods. Most artifacts predate the pump that was installed some time in the late nineteenth century. Some artifacts contemporary with the pump were found at the site, including an Indian-head penny dating to 1875. On the basis of Phase II investigation, the Pump Site does not appear to be eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places because it lacks integrity. No intact stratigraphy or features were found in the course of excavation.
Soils encountered at the Pump Site are similar to those associated with the Penn series and Penn silt loam (Soil Conservation Service 1963). These soils are common in cultivated areas and include 0-7 inches of reddish brown to dark reddish brown silt loam, 7-18 inches of red to dark red silt loam subsoil with 40 to 60 percent weathered shaley sandstone or siltstone, and approximately 18 inches of red, hard shaley sandstone or siltstone bedrock. The soils are very acidic, sometimes including a thin B horizon. Small areas within the soil series may exhibit a larger fraction of coarser-grained sand and more yellowish color derived from differences in the color of the sandstone conglomerates underlying the area.
The Pump Site area was heavily plowed after abandonment. The stratigraphy consisted of a thin humus layer present in only four of the eight units (Units 1, 2, 3, and 7), a plowzone, an interface zone (weak B horizon) seen in three units (Units 1, 2, and 6), and subsoil or bedrock. A small number of artifacts was found in the top of the interface zone in Units 2 and 6. Artifacts were primarily found in the plowzone and humus layer that had begun to form at the top of the plowzone.
All test units, with the exception of Unit 2, exhibited similar stratigraphy that closely resembled the Penn series soils predicted for the area (Figure 8-2). Unit 2 included the similar stratification, but the soils themselves were different as a result of having been formed from different parent material (yellow coarse-grained sandstone rather than red shaley sandstone or siltstone). The humus layer varied in thickness from non-existent to 0.2 feet. It was a 7.5YR 3/3 dark brown silty loam that included historic artifacts. The plowzone averaged between 0.5 to 0.7 feet; the plowzone in Unit 3, located on a slope, was 0.3 feet thick. The plowzone included the majority of the artifacts found on the site. In Unit 2 the plowzone was 10YR 5/3 brown silt loam; the remainder of the units consisted of either a 7.5YR 4/3 or a 7.5YR4/4 brown silt loam.
The interface layer between the plowzone and subsoil was not distinguishable visually except in Unit 2. The layer included a small number of artifacts in Unit 2 (2 artifacts) and Unit 6 (3 artifacts). The sandy soils found in Unit 2 made the leached zone easier to see because the darker-colored plowzone affected the light gray clayey sand below. Subsoil in Unit 2 consisted of 2.5Y 7/2 light gray clayey sand, and 10YR 5/4 yellowish brown, clayey sand (interface zone). Although the interface between the plowzone and subsoil exhibited discoloration, its texture was very similar to the subsoil, with the addition of mineral inclusions (probably manganese or bog iron). Subsoil in the remainder of the units consisted of silty clay with large amounts of siltstone inclusions. Subsoil color varied from 2.5YR 4/4 reddish brown and 2.5YR 5/6 red to 5YR 3/3 dark reddish brown and 5YR 5/4 reddish brown.
Subsoil increased in siltstone content with depth. A 2 by 2-foot shaft was excavated an additional foot below the base of excavation in the northeast corner of Unit 3 to investigate the subsoil to a greater depth. With increased depth soil continued to become redder, and increased in siltstone content until it became impenetrable at approximately 3 feet below the surface. A similar shaft was excavated into the east half of Unit 2 to investigate the subsoil. There the soil gave way to a decaying siltstone bedrock at a depth of approximately 1.5 feet below the surface.
There were no discernable differences between artifact inventories recovered from the humus, plowzone and interface zones. The strata did not represent distinct site occupations, but were part of the same undifferentiated deposit of artifacts. Earlier material was not more common in the lower strata, nor was later material more common in the upper strata. The Pump Site contains neither an intact cultural stratigraphy nor features such as middens or trash pits.
A total of 1348 historic artifacts was recovered from the Phase II excavation of eight units in the vicinity of the Pump Site. Table 8-1 summarizes the contents of the assemblage. Artifacts included domestic items such as ceramics (42% of all artifacts) and bottle glass (19% of all artifacts), architectural material (26% of all artifacts) such as cut and wrought nails, brick fragments, and window glass, faunal materials (3% of all artifacts) including bone, teeth and oyster shell, personal and clothing items (1% of all artifacts) such as buttons, kaolin pipe stem fragments, and a penny, miscellaneous iron objects and fragments (9% of all artifacts), and possible farming implements such as a buckle, a chain, and part of a harness. Pump Site artifacts were primarily small fragments, suggesting damage and disturbance caused by plowing.
Ceramics are the most numerous artifacts at the Pump Site. The date ranges for various ceramics listed below are based on Miller 1993. Refined earthenwares included plain, light-colored creamware (1770-1820), plain pearlware (1775-1830), underglaze painted blue pearlware (1775-1830), shell-edged green and blue pearlware (1780-1830), blue transfer printed pearlware (1783-1830), annular decorated and polychrome hand-painted underglaze pearlware (1795-1830), brown transfer printed pearlware (1809-1825), plain and blue-painted and printed whiteware (1805-present), willow-pattern printed transitional pearlware/whiteware (1820-1840), green shell-edged whiteware (1820-1835), polychrome printed whiteware (1828-present), yelloware (1830-1930), and ironstone (1842-present). Pearlware was the most common of the refined earthenwares recovered at 50%; (creamware was 8%, whiteware 36%, yelloware 4%, and ironstone 2%). All of the ceramics recovered could have been deposited prior to the Civil War; the high percentage of pearlware (and the very low percentage of earlier ceramics like creamware and later ceramics like yelloware and ironstone) suggests a late eighteenth to early nineteenth century date for the site?s period of maximum use.
Summary of Artifacts Recovered From Eight Phase II Units, Pump Site
|Artifact||Unit 1||Unit 2||Unit 3||Unit 4||Unit 5||Unit 6||Unit 7||Unit 8||Total||% of Site Artifacts|
|Other/ Personal||1 button |
|2 pipe stem |
1 copper button
|1 copper button |
1 pipe stem
|--||1 comb |
2 glass buttons
2 copper button
|3 pipe stem |
|--||1 glass button||2 graphite|
4 copper buttons
4 glass buttons
6 pipe stem
Coarse earthenwares found at the Pump Site consisted of clear, brown and black lead-glazed redwares, lead-glazed buff-bodied wares, and slipware. One buff-bodied slipware with yellow and brown slip was found during the Phase I investigation; one additional sherd of this slipware was recovered from Unit 6 during the Phase II evaluation. Almost half of all the coarse earthenware fragments found at the Pump Site came from Unit 2.
Nine fragments of porcelain were recovered during the Phase II evaluation. One of these sherds was Chinese export porcelain with an underglaze blue decoration; the remainder were undecorated fragments.
The Pump Site assemblage featured a variety of different stonewares, including American gray salt-glazed stoneware with cobalt decoration, brown salt-glazed stoneware, slip-glazed stonewares, and a variety of poorly-fired stonewares that may have been locally made. Brown salt-glazed stonewares are difficult to date if elaborate decoration is not present. Salt-glazed stoneware was made in America from 1730 to 1915. American slip-glazed stoneware was produced between 1805 and 1930.
Bottle and vessel glass fragments recovered were too small for detailed analysis and dating. Dark green, manganese-tinted, clear, aqua, brown, and light green-colored bottle glass was found. Some glass fragments included a thick petina that was formed in the acidic soils.
The majority of nails recovered were cut nails (1815-present). Eighteen nails appeared to be hand wrought, but may also have been early cut nails from the period 1790-1820. Only ten wire nails (1850-present) were found; nine of these nails were excavated from Unit 4 and were probably derived from a more recent structure associated with the pump. An additional 90 nails were too rusted to determine whether they were wrought, cut or wire. The prevalence of cut nails at the site roughly supports the late eighteenth century date derived from the ceramics. However the nails suggest an early nineteenth century rather than late eighteenth century date for the major occupation of the site.
Other architectural material found at the Pump Site included window glass (102 fragments) and brick (9 fragments). The low number of brick fragments in comparison to the large number of nails suggests that a small primarily wooden structure, possibly with a brick chimney, may have been present at the site. Units 5 and 6 included the largest number of architectural artifacts.
One hundred twenty-two fragments of iron were found at the site. Most of these pieces were unidentifiable. A chain was found in the wall of Unit 7. A U-shaped iron piece with notches on each end resembles a portion of a harness used on plow horses. An iron ring and buckle recovered may also have been part of a harness. A thick iron washer was also found. Two fragments of iron found in Unit 7 appear to be parts of a cast-iron stove; one fragment has a raised design.
Eighteen personal or clothing items were recovered during the Phase II investigation. These were fairly evenly distributed in the units, except that none was found in Unit 4, next to the pump, nor in Unit 7. Personal items included two fragments of what appears to be a writing implement, six pipe stems, a buckle (which alternatively may have been part of a bridle or harness), four copper buttons, four white glass buttons (one may be porcelain), and a comb fragment that may be made of bone. Two of the copper buttons included a stamped face. Based on the shape and the form of the eye-attachment, these buttons may have been produced between 1726 and 1776. The glass or porcelain buttons date between 1800-1865.
Faunal material included oyster shell, and unidentified animal bones and teeth. About half of all faunal remains were found in Unit 1. Remains appeared to be primarily those of larger domestic animals. No specialist studies were undertaken on the collection because of the disturbed context and limited sample.
Unit 4, placed five feet from the water pump, included wrought, cut and wire nails. A large iron strap was located near the surface of the unit. Four sherds of whiteware and one sherd of earthenware constitute the non-metal material found in the unit. Based on artifacts found in Unit 4, the area around the pump is not associated with the main portion of the Pump Site. The pump did not replace an earlier well. The pump well may have been installed with mechanical drilling equipment in an area that may not have allowed a hand-dug well. However, some artifacts contemporary with the pump, including an 1875 penny, were found on the site. The large number of nails found in Unit 4 suggest that a wooden house structure once enclosed the pump. Abandoned roadways lead from the pump to the north, south and west.
Units 5 and 6 included more architectural material than the other six units. Architectural material represented 35% of the artifacts found in both Units 5 and 6, which is a much higher percentage than the other units (except for Unit 4 which mainly contained architectural material associated with a later pump house). Unit 8 included the largest number of brick fragments. The concentration of these architectural material corresponds with the topographic setting of Units 5 and 6; if a structure once stood at the site, it would probably have been located near the top of the knoll. Unit 6 also included the largest fraction of creamware (1770-1820) fragments recovered.
Site residents seem to have intentionally tossed refuse down the hill-slope to the west. Unit 1 at the base of the hill to the west contained the most artifacts, including almost half of all the faunal remains recovered. Some of this material may have moved down the hill after the site was abandoned, but the large amount of material in Unit 1 (356 artifacts) contrasts with the amount of material in Unit 7 (137 artifacts), located fifteen feet to the north and also at the bottom of the hill. Both Unit 1 and 7 included a deeper plowzone than the other units. The fact that Unit 1 is located on the edge of the clearing suggests that it was situated near the boundary of a yard, a likely place for dumping.
Unit 2, located west of the cleared site area, included a high percentage of redware versus other ceramics, and other artifacts in general. It contained almost half of the coarse earthenware recovered at the Pump Site.
Unit 3 was very shallow, reaching subsoil at approximately 0.5 feet below the surface. This unit is located on a gentle slope. A two-foot deep shaft was dug into the northeast corner of Unit 3 in part to confirm that subsoil had been reached. No artifacts were found in this shaft, and the soils did not change, except in that they gradually became more compact, resembling the shaley siltstone bedrock from which they were formed.
Four quartz flakes, a fire-cracked quartz rock and a quartz crystal were found during the Phase I survey, suggesting the possibility that the Pump Site included a prehistoric component. Only two additional possible quartz flakes were found during the Phase II, along with a larger amount of quartz pebbles. The flakes may represent an ephemeral lithic scatter and camp; additional quartz flakes and an unfinished quartz Archaic point were found northeast of the site. Additional shovel test pits excavated at a distance of 25 feet around each of the shovel test pits that included prehistoric material failed to produce additional material. These artifacts may have at one time been part of a small site in the area, but are now dispersed and mixed with historic material as a result of plowing and other ground-disturbing activities (such as tree-planting). The prehistoric component at the Pump Site is very limited.
Based on the archeological evidence gathered, the Pump Site was a small late eighteenth through early nineteenth century domestic site. This area of Fairfax County during the Early National and Antebellum periods was focused on both wheat and tobacco farming. Most of the present Dulles Airport property was occupied by large landholders who lived in relatively large homes, like the home built at Sully Plantation in 1790. The Pump Site, however, was probably a small wooden structure with a brick chimney or hearth; only 9 brick fragments were recovered in comparison with 246 nails (no brick fragments were recovered during the Phase I survey). Thus, the Pump Site occupants may have been tenant farmers.
Historic maps from the eighteenth century through the end of the nineteenth century do not show any structure at the Pump Site location, suggesting that the site was limited in size and perceived importance. The wide variety of different decoration on pearlware found at the site further suggests that the site was not occupied by wealthy landowners; the people living at the site did not appear to have matched sets of dishes. Although ceramics suggest a site date from the late eighteenth through early nineteenth centuries, nails found do not indicate an eighteenth-century occupation. If the site occupants were not wealthy they may have retained earlier, perhaps previously used, ceramics rather than purchasing the latest styles.
If a domestic structure was present it was probably located near the top of the knoll, in the vicinity of Units 5 or 6, which contained the largest amount of architectural artifacts. No evidence of such a structure, however, was found below the plowzone. The site residents seem to have deposited trash down the hill-slope to the west. As noted, Unit 1 at the base of the hill contained the most artifacts, including almost half of all the faunal remains recovered.
The water pump dates to the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. Unit 4 excavated adjacent to the pump contained only five ceramic sherds; the remainder of the artifacts there were miscellaneous metal and nails, probably originally part of a house surrounding the pump. Although most artifacts found at the Pump Site predate the pump, artifacts contemporary with the pump were found at the site, including an 1875 penny found near the southeast boundary of the site (north radial of STP V-4). It appears that the main part of the pump site, the residence to the south, was no longer in use by the time the pump was installed.
The area of the Pump Site was cultivated and plowed after the site no longer served a domestic function. The stratigraphy consisted of a humus layer, plowzone, interface zone that contained a very limited number of artifacts, and subsoil. No stratigraphic trend can be seen in the types of artifacts recovered from the excavation.
The Pump Site does not contain intact strata below the plowzone; no features were found at the site. Because the site does not retain integrity it is not believed to be eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. If this is so, then no further archeological investigation would be recommended for the Pump Site.
|Introduction||Chap. 2: Historic Preservation Compliance|
|Chap. 3: Project Area Description||Chap. 4: Background Research|
|Chap. 5: Field Investigations||Chap. 6: Laboratory Investigations|
|Chap. 7: Archeological Findings of Phase I Survey||Chap. 8: Archeological Findings of Phase II Survey|
|Chap. 9: Summary and Recommendations||Chap. 10: Bibliography|
|Related Archaeology Websites|