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Archaeology & Native Americans

Archaeology&NativeAmericans Archaeology & Native AmericansArchaeology is the scientific study of human cultures through the recovery, recordation, analysis, and interpretation of material objects. Readily recognized themes of prehistoric culture that can be informed by archaeological data include subsistence strategies, settlement patterns, political organization, technological development, and environmental adaptation of local inhabitants.

Native Americans—The land that became Prince George’s County was occupied for thousands of years before the first Europeans arrived; there is considerable archaeological evidence of Native American settlements along both the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers and their tributaries. Examples: Accokeek Creek Site, Nottingham Archaeological Site, Mount Calvert Archeological Site, Piscataway Park Archaeological Site, and National Archives Archaeological Site.

Special activities, programs, and events are held at our Historic sites throughout the year.


Photos are courtesy of their respective websites.


Accokeek Creek Archaeological Siteaccokeek creek
Bryan Point Road
Accokeek MD 20607
Additional Resource
Occupation between 3000 B.C. and 17th century; source of information about Piscataway Indians is that their occupation occurred just before 1200 A.D.


Dinosaur ParkDinosaur Park
13200 Mid Atlantic Blvd.
Laurel MD 20708
Additional Resource
Did you know the official State Dinosaur was first discovered in Prince George’s County? The 20-ton Astrodon Johnstoni lived between 130 million and 95 million years ago. Teeth from the Astrodon Johnstoni were first discovered in Prince George’s County in 1858. The recently opened Dinosaur Park has been the site of numerous fossil finds representing millions of years of Prince George’s County history from the Cretaceous Period (144-65 million years ago), when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, to the early Iron Industry of Maryland (spanning the 1650s to the 1920s). Featuring interpretive signs, evocative plantings, walkways, and public parking, the Dinosaur Park is open to the public on the first and third Saturdays of each month, from 12-4 pm. School and group programs by appointment. Schedule may expand and additional programs to be announced.


Mount Calvert Historical & Archaeological ParkMount Calvert
16302 Mount Calvert Road
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
301-627-1286
Additional Resource
Mount Calvert is one of the most significant historical and archaeological sites in Prince George’s County. Ten interpretative wayside signs and the exhibit “The Confluence of Three Cultures” describe the archaeology of 8,000 years of American Indian presence, the development of colonial Charles-Town (the county’s first seat of government from 1696-1721), and an early American tobacco plantation.


Northampton Plantation Slave Quarters & Archaeological ParkNorthampton Slave Quarters
Lake Overlook Drive
Bowie MD 20721
301-627-1286
Additional Resource
Historians and archaeologists are working together to reconstruct the lives of the many slaves and tenant farmers who lived at Northampton Plantation. This historic site features reconstructed foundations of two slave quarteres from the former Northampton Plantation (1673-1860). Archaeological excavations have recovered artifacts and information about the lives of African American slaves and tenant farmers who lived there from the late 18th through the mid-20th century. Interpretive signage describes the site’s hisotry and ongoing research.


Nottingham Archaeological Site
17304 Nottingham Road
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
500 B.C.-1600 A.D., middle and late Woodland village site. Possibly the site of Native American village indicated on John Smith’s 1608 map.


Piscataway ParkPiscataway Park
3400 Bryan Point Road
Accokeek MD 20607
301-283-2113
Additional Resource
The view from Mount Vernon will continue to be protected thanks to the Accokeek Foundation’s efforts to develop a public-private partnership to create Piscataway Park. Piscataway Park, part of the National Park Service, was established in 1961 as a pilot project in the use of easements to protect park lands from obtrusive urban expansion. Today, Piscataway Park covers approximately 5,000 acres and stretches for six miles from Piscataway Creek to Marshall Hall on the Potomac River.


Riverview Road Archaeological Site
Riverview Road
Fort Washington MD 20744
6000 B.C. to A.D. 1300, nomadic people lived intermittently at the site from the prehistoric Archaic period to Woodland period. Archaeological investigations revealed prehistoric stone tools, ceramics, and hearths & historic artifacts.


Special activities, programs, and events are held at our Historic sites throughout the year.