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Archaeology in Annapolis
Archaeology in Annapolis
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|Title: ||Phase I-II Archaeological Investigations on the Courthouse Site (18AP63): An Historic African-American Neighborhood in Annapolis, Maryland|
|Authors: ||Warner, Mark S.|
Mullins, Paul R.
Leone, Mark P.
Little, Barbara J.
|Type: ||Technical Report|
|Issue Date: ||1993|
|Abstract: ||During the Summer and Fall of 1990, Archaeology in Annapolis conducted
archaeological excavations at the Courthouse Site (18AP63), a multi-component
historic site in Annapolis, Maryland. The testing area, which is now a parking lot,
is a roughly triangular block bounded by Franklin, Cathedral, and South Streets in
Annapolis' Historic District. A limited number of units restricted to three areas of
the lot were permitted for this phase of the investigation. Excavations analyzed
the archaeological integrity of the site and evaluated the age and diversity of
archaeological deposits in the test areas. It is expected that the phase of
excavations analyzed here will precede Phase III investigations in the areas of the
lot which contain rich deposits.
The excavation area's use during the colonial period is unknown, but
undisturbed strata containing a light deposit of eighteenth-century artifacts were
identified in the southeast corner of the testing area. The lot gradually became an
African-American neighborhood after about 1850, and a large and diverse
assemblage of nineteenth- and twentieth-century artifacts was recovered
throughout the test area. Testing in the southwest corner of the block revealed
filled basements and grading disturbance dating to the circa 1960s dismantling of
the neighborhood. In some units, this disturbance mixed eighteenth- and
nineteenth-century artifacts with modern refuse. A partially disturbed barrel privy
dating to the late-nineteenth century was identified in this area of the site in the
back of the home which was numbered 38 Doctor Street in 1903 (renumbered 68
Franklin Street circa 1910). The feature contained a small assemblage of 13 glass
vessels, including an unusually high number of glass table vessels (ten). A unit
placed in the back yard of 80 Franklin Street identified a circa 1921 dog burial.
Testing revealed several areas worthy of rigorous excavation and indicated
that artifacts have been discarded into the lot since about the mid-eighteenth
century. The identification of several features associated with the African-
American occupation of the block indicates that the site contains significant intact
African-American deposits. These will provide a particularly important
archaeological opportunity to examine the African-American material world
between about 1850 and 1950. This report provides analyses of the site's
stratigraphy and artifact assemblages and suggests promising strategies for
subsequent archaeology of the site.|
|Appears in Collections:||Archaeology in Annapolis|
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