ADENA DETAILS & HISTORY
Adena Culture Artifacts
GENERAL INFORMATION





The Delmarva Adena Complex (circa 2500-1800 years before present) is somewhat of an enigma.  Several archaeological sites have been found within the coastal plain of Maryland and Delaware which have produced amazing stone artifacts.  Most of the stone artifacts found at these few sites were not manufactured locally.  These "exotic" stone artifacts were manufactured by the Adena Culture within the Ohio Valley.  The Ohio Valley is over 500 miles from the Delmarva coastal plain Adena sites.  Equally interesting, the artifact assemblages associated with the Delmarva Adena sites are truly impressive.  In some cases, the assemblages found at the Delmarva sites far exceed the assemblages found at sites in the Ohio Valley Adena heartland. 
In 1957 at the annual meeting of the Eastern States Archaeological Federation, the public and professional archeological community  with have a chance to examine most of the assemblages associated with the Delmarva Adena Complexes.  For 43 years, these assemblages have been virtually inaccessible and hidden from view.  The only visual record of some of Delmarva's spectacular Adena Assemblages is in an obscure article entitled "Adena Sites on the Chesapeake Bay" by Latimer Ford.  Ford's article was published in 1976 within volume 4 of "Archaeology of Eastern North America".  Even though Ford's article is an amazing contribution to regional Maryland archaeology, the photographs associated with the article did not do justice to the reality of the artifact assemblages.  The poster published by Middle Atlantic Archaeological Design attempts to bring a small portion of these assemblages into public view.  The high resolution images are actual size, and in color. 
Unfortunately, the sites which produced these artifacts  have been destroyed or greatly altered by natural and man-made processes.  The Sandy Hill site (18 Do 30) in Dorchester County, Maryland was destroyed by sand mining and the site is presently developed.  The sand mining operations at Sandy Hill revealed most of the artifacts presented in the poster  The Frederica site (7K-F-2) in Kent County, Delaware was also destroyed as a result of sand removal operations.  The artifacts from the Frederica site were salvaged as the site was being graded and leveled.  The Maiden Point site (18 Ta 233) in Talbot County, Maryland was destroyed as a result of shoreline erosion.  The artifacts from the Maiden Point site were salvaged along the beach as the shoreline eroded.  The artifact associated with the Denton Cache site (18 Ca 181) is one of several large blades that were discovered as a result of shoreline erosion.  The artifacts associated with the Henckel Farm site (18 Ta 347), the Martingham site (18 Ta 115), and the Benoni Point site (18 Ta 345) were also discovered as a result of shoreline erosion.  Clearly, these locations had significant archaeological components.  But, unfortunately these archaeological sites are no longer intact or preserved.  The artifacts presented in the poster are associated with Delmarva's rapidly vanishing prehistoric archaeological record.  Only the stone tools found during the destruction of these archaeological sites attest to some of the ample prehistoric past associated with the Delmarva region.  As in the past, the Delmarva peninsula currently maintains a rich Native American heritage. 
 

"In some cases, the assemblages found at the Delmarva sites far exceed the assemblages found at sites in the Ohio Valley Adena heartland."

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