Site 44JC969 was identified during an archaeological survey of the Route 199 project area. Based on the initial shovel tests, the site measured about 1,360 × 400 feet. Twenty of the 67 shovel tests excavated within the site contained artifacts, including handmade brick fragments, oyster shell, ceramic sherds (mostly various eighteenth-century types such as white saltglaze stoneware, Staffordshire slipware, Chinese porcelain, tin-enameled earthenware, and creamware), bottle glass, wrought nails, one piece of scrap lead, and prehistoric stone tool-making debris (Higgins and Gray 1997). The archaeological survey findings indicated that the site could be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Given the fact that the site could not be completely avoided by road construction, a more intensive archaeological evaluation was recommended.
During the evaluation, systematic shovel testing and excavation of five larger "test units" in the northern portion of the site that was later subjected to data recovery resulted in the recovery of 343 artifacts, including 333 historic and 10 prehistoric artifacts. The historic-period assemblage included fragmented artifacts dating from the mid- to late eighteenth century. Most abundant were ceramic sherds (106 creamware, 30 coarse earthenware, 12 tin-enameled earthenware, 10 white saltglaze stoneware, seven Chinese porcelain, five pearlware, four English brown stoneware, three Colonoware, three Rhenish blue and gray stoneware, two English porcelain, two miscellaneous refined earthenware, and one Black basalt stoneware) and glass (102 dark green bottle glass, three unidentified colorless glass, two colorless pharmaceutical glass, one blue-green pharmaceutical glass, one green-blue flask glass, one green flask glass, one blue-green bottle glass). Wrought nails, handmade brick, oyster shell, white clay tobacco pipe fragments, door/window hardware, and other miscellaneous items indicated domestic occupation of the northern portion of site during the eighteenth century (Underwood 1999).
One feature, a possible pit or posthole (Feature 1), was identified in test units near the center of the eighteenth-century occupation area north of Route 199. Located approximately 0.8 feet below the surface, Feature 1 measured 1.4 feet east-west × 1.2 feet north-south and was almost circular in shape. Two artifacts, a creamware sherd and a piece of dark green bottle glass, were removed from the loose feature fill after documentation.
Following the evaluation, Site 44JC969 was recommended eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places because of its high research potential, especially for learning about the lives of slaves in this region during the eighteenth century. Because the northern portion of the site could not be avoided by the road widening project, data recovery excavations were conducted.