Revising Holmes’ Quarries: A New Look at the Quartzites from Piney Branch
Elizabeth A. Crowell
Parsons Engineering Science
elizabeth.crowell@parsons.com
Philip C. LaPorta
CUNY Graduate Center
Philip_C_LaPorta@compuserve.com
During the late nineteenth century, William Henry Holmes, who became Chief Curator of Anthropology at the U.S. National Museum (now the Natural History Museum, Smithsonian Institution) initiated in-depth studies of quarries in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, including the quartzite quarry at Piney Branch.  He published the results of his findings and further descriptive information, as well as the artifacts he looked at, are at the National Museum of Natural History.  Recent studies at Whitehurst Freeway and Barney Circle have yielded large numbers of quartzite artifacts which have been subject to microscopic study.  Findings from these studies will be discussed in the context of Holmes’ earlier research.