Archaeological Data Recovery, Mabrey Bridge Site (31ED333)
Edgecombe County, North Carolina
CCR completed an archaeological data recovery at the multicomponent Mabrey Bridge site (31ED333) in North Carolina’s northern Coastal Plain region. The project was conducted for the North Carolina Department of Transportation in preparation for the replacement of a bridge over Fishing Creek, a major tributary of the Tar River. The project yielded evidence for recurrent seasonal occupation of the Fishing Creek floodplain during the Middle and Late Woodland periods. Over
90 cultural features related to the Woodland occupations, including
deep pit features with abundant and well-preserved refuse deposits, were
investigated. Analysis of over 12,000 lithic artifacts, 6,000 ceramic
artifacts, 16,000 faunal bone fragments, and 29,000 carbonized botanical
specimens, the majority from the pit features, was completed. The
presence of carbonized hickory nutshell fragments in many of the feature
contexts, along with other clues from archaeobotanical and faunal
analyses, suggested that the major occupations took place during the
fall or winter.
of abundant refuse from a single eighteenth-century feature, possibly
once a household sub-floor storage pit, offered insights into the early
settlement of Edgecombe County and provided significant information on
domestic lifeways for a small and modest Colonial-period household.
Feature analysis and documentary sources suggested that the historic
component could represent a household of slaves of African descent.
Unfortunately, there was limited preservation in this portion of the
site and the recovered evidence was insufficient to draw conclusions
with respect to ethnicity.
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