Archaeology in Annapolis was a city-wide excavation of Maryland’s capital city whose purpose was to recover and teach with the below ground remains of materials from the 1680’s to today. Archaeology in Annapolis is a part of the Department of Anthropology of the University of Maryland, College Park and has been, and in some cases remains, partners with Historic Annapolis Foundation, the Banneker-Douglass Museum, Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation, and the City of Annapolis. The project was begun in 1981 and continues to work in the City and to excavate on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The project works to provide understanding of the many peoples who have made up the City in the past and present. Under the direction of Mark P. Leone, the organization has conducted over forty excavations in the historic area of Maryland’s capitol city as well as in Queen Anne and Talbot Counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, including Wye House Plantation. This collection includes archaeological site reports, technical reports, and dissertations produced by the project between 1985 and the present. Where possible, separate files for artifact catalogs have been provided.
A physical component of the collection is housed in the National Trust room of Hornbake Library on the University of Maryland campus. It contains copies of site reports, field notes, drawings, slides, contact sheets, photographs, historic research, oral history transcripts, artifact cataloging sheets, analytical notes, dissertations, scholarly and public papers, presentations, journal articles, administrative planning notes, correspondence, visitor evaluations, press releases, brochures, exhibition planning notes and grant proposals.
(2002) Larsen, Eric L.; Leone, Mark P.; Beadenkopf, Kris; Lev-Tov, Justin; Madsen, Andrew
Phase III archaeological excavations for the Banneker-Douglass Museum Expansion
Project were conducted over a six-week period in July and August of 2001. Archaeology in
Annapolis undertook the project at the request of the Maryland Commission on African American
History and Culture and by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
The open lot on the north side of the Museum is part of the larger Courthouse Site (18AP63), a
multi component site in the historic district of Annapolis. Previous archaeology for the Banneker-Douglass
Project determined this area to be eligible for inclusion in the National Register of
Historic Places under Criterion D (archaeological significance). A new addition to the Banneker-Douglass
Museum will impact all remaining cultural contexts. As no other alternatives are
available, archaeology was planned to mitigate these losses.
Known to have once held four separate dwellings built during the mid 19th century, the
property was occupied until the structures were tom down in the 1970s. During the late 19th
century, the area grew to become part of Annapolis' African-American community. Previous
archaeology found intact cultural remains from this period including two different households'
privies, a sheet midden, and other structural features. Current excavations pursued the retrieval
and analyses of these contexts to increase the understanding of site formation processes and to
provide additional information and insights into Annapolis' African-American community- its
households, material culture, and adaptations.
The development and everyday workings of African-American communities during the
period of Jim Crow segregation have not been well documented. Examination of the built
environment provides new insight into how and when this community developed. Ceramic, glass,
and faunal analyses provide material comparable to other post Civil War African-American sites in
Annapolis. This comparison allows the acknowledgment of the inevitable differences present
within the African-American community-while also pursuing the nature of a common identity built
around race and place.