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.
(1992) Logan, George C.; Bodor, Thomas W.; Jones, Lynn D.; Creveling, Marian C.; Leone, Mark P.
This report provides a detailed summary of archaeological excavations that were conducted
by Archaeology in Annapolis inside the ground story of the Charles Carroll House in Annapolis
(18AP45) during the summer and fall of 1991. This project was initiated by Charles Carroll
House of Annapolis, Inc. (CCHA), and was made possible through an agreement between CCHA
and Historic Annapolis Foundation. It was designed as an initial phase of a larger project to
restore the Carroll House to its late 18th-century appearance, while at the same time adding
modern facilities to accomodate receptions, conferences, and other adaptive uses.
These excavations were conducted between June and mid October of 1991, prior to interior
house restoration, with monitoring of site restoration activities continuing well into 1992.
Archaeologists, working with fieldschool students, and volunteers, tested all identified rooms in
the house's ground story and then expanded excavations as deemed necessary and as time
In designing the project and in preparing this final report, the staff followed the "Guidelines
for Archaeological Investigations in Maryland" (McNarnara 1981). The report includes several
levels of summaries (from descriptive summaries of soil levels excavated from the individual
units (Appendix A), to interpretive room summaries) in an effort to make the data easily
accessible and understandable to archaeologists and others interested in this site.
This report provides a detailed summary of the archaeological excavations that were conducted over a period of 2 weeks at the Retallick-Brewer House site located in Annapolis, Maryland. The project was initiated by the Griffis Foundation in order to gain some insight into the changes that have occurred at this property over its 200 year occupation. The project was completed by staff and volunteers of Archaeology In Annapolis, a joint venture of the University of Maryland, College Park, and Historic Annapolis Foundation. The design of this report follows the "Guidelines for Archaeological Investigations in Maryland" (McNamara 1981). This report contains descriptive summaries of individual levels along with an interpretation for each excavated unit in order to allow archaeologists and interested others access to the information contained within.
This survey detected a possible well or other type of refilled pit on the south side of the house. Several likely paths, now buried, were delineated. See Figure 1.
Many areas of fill soil were mapped. There appears to be a buried earth layer, possibly a garden bed or pavement, extending east-west across the site; this interface can be partly traced beneath a recently-constructed cemetery terrace.
Concentrations of debris underground were also located. While some could be lenses of trash, others could help define lost structures. This geophysical survey did not detect anything of the tavern which might have formerly been at the east side of this site.
This survey mapped large contrasts in the electrical conductivity of the earth. Some of these are almost surely due to buried metal, either trash or pipes or wires. Very conductive areas could be caused by a proximity to salt water. A low conductivity band crosses part of the measurement area; it is possible that this is related to either a filled stream channel or a former wharf.
(2009-07) Bowen, Joanne; Andrews, Susan Trevarthen
Identifying the ethnicity of an historic site can often be a challenging puzzle with many
interlocking pieces of information. Looking just at the presence and absence of certain
artifacts is not always reliable since the archaeological record has demonstrated that
African Americans and whites of varying economic backgrounds often owned or had
access to the same possessions. To determine the presence of slaves on historic sites,
historical archaeologists have looked not only to the documentary evidence and
architectural remains but also to distinguishing patterns in the archaeological record that
help to define the ethnicity of a site. Specifically, faunal remains from known and
probable slave sites have been closely examined in order to identify possible consumption
patterns in the slave diet.
One example of how faunal remains can provide information on slave diet is John Otto's
classic study of faunal remains from Cannon's Point Plantation in Georgia. Otto analyzed
and compared three assemblages (one belonging to a white overseer, one to slaves, and
one to the white plantation owner) in order to define patterns of material culture specific
to certain groups of people. He not only looked at the presence of species but also
butchery marks, cuts of meat, and the differences in white and African cuisine. From his
research, he defined slave assemblages has having a large percentage of chopped bone,
the presence of mainly head and foot elements belonging to cattle and pigs, and a great
diversity in the wild remains. Assemblages associated with whites included sawn bone,
higher quality cuts of meat and smaller amounts of wild animals (Otto 1984).
Since Otto's analysis, archaeologists have taken a closer look at his findings and have
continued to redefine the patterns in species distribution, elements distributions, and
butchery techniques found on slave-related sites (Fashing 2005; Bowen 2008). From
their analysis some broad patterns have begun to emerge in the faunal assemblages of slave sites, including the relative importance of beef and pork in the diet, and a higher
degree of bone fragmentation than in the white-related assemblages. Although broad
patterns in slave faunal assemblages have emerged, it must also be recognized that slaves
established their subsistence strategies based on the unique context of their circumstances
and the physical surroundings in which they lived. For example, a slave working in the
field might have access to a different foodway system than slaves working in the house.
Furthermore, their relationship to the white owner, their availability to procure their own
food, and their association with a local market system are all variables influencing the
faunal remains left in the archaeological record. As more slave-related faunal
assemblages are analyzed the variability between sites will be better understood and
interpreted. For this reason, the faunal analysis of known slave assemblages is crucial to
the growing database of slave related studies.
In order to test some of the slave-related patterns found in faunal assemblages and to
understand how subsistence patterns are formed, this report will examine faunal remains
excavated from probable slave quarters and their surrounding yard. In the spring of 2009,
Lisa Kraus and Dr. Mark Leone from the University of Maryland submitted for analysis
faunal remains excavated from site 18TA314, historically known as the Wye House.
Located along the Wye River in Maryland's Eastern shore, the site was originally settled
in the 1650's by Edward Lloyd, a Welsh Puritan. In 1790 his great grandson built a
plantation home which he owned until his death in 1796, when the estate was left to his
son Edward V (Weeks 1984; Ydstie 2007).
(1990) Read, Esther Doyle; Russo, Jean; Logan, George; Burk, Brett; Leone, Mark P.; Little, Barbara J.
Archaeological excavations were conducted at State Circle in Annapolis during the fall and winter of 1989-1990 by "Archaeology in Annapolis", a cooperative program between the University of Maryland, College Park and the Historic Annapolis Foundation. Excavation was conducted as part of the undergrounding of public utility wires within State Circle, Francis Street, and School Street. The work was undertaken to satisfy the conditions of compliance as set forth in the Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 83b, sections 5-617 and 5-18. Twenty excavation area were selected for excavation within the project area. Areas were selected based on data gathered during historical background research. Areas were also selected in an attempt to gather information concerning the Baroque town plan designed in 1695 by Royal Governor Francis Nicholson. Three sites previously identified in the project area (18AP22, 18AP28, and 18AP50) were tested. Nine additional sites were
discovered during excavation (18AP54, 18AP55, 18AP56, 18AP57,
18AP58, 18AP59, 18AP60, 18AP61, and 18AP62). At least one hand dug 3 ft by 5 ft unit per site was excavated. In all, a total of 23
units were excavated.
The Victualling Warehouse Site, located at 77 Main Street in Annapolis, Maryland, was excavated by Archaeology in Annapolis during the summers of 1982 and 1983 and the fall of 1984. Funding was provided by Historic Annapolis, Incorporated (now Historic Annapolis Foundation), the University of Maryland, the Maryland Committee for the Humanities, and the Maryland Commission on the Capital City. This site has been used for commercial and residential purposes since the 1740's. During the Revolution the warehouses were used as a victualling office to supply American troops. A fire in 1970 destroyed these buildings and the present structure, also used as a store, was built about twenty years later. Over the three years of excavation, a total of 36 5 foot by 5 foot units were excavated revealing several features, including the foundations of one of the eighteenth century warehouses.
(1994) O'Reilly, Carey; Shackel, Paul A.; Leone, Mark P.; Beavan, Michele; Fernandez, Robert; Graminski, John; Gryder, Dennis; Jastrab, Marcey; Lev-Tov, Justin; Mullins, Paul R.
193 Main Street (18AP44) is located between Main Street and Duke of Gloucester Street. The property was used ass a yard related to residential and commercial buildings during the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 1930's a movie theatre and parking lot were built on the property. That structure was torn down in the 1980's and a three-story commercial building was constructed. Archaeological excavations were conducted on the property from 1985-1987. A preliminary report was written in 1986 by Paul A. Shackel. This report is the final report on the archaeological investigations at 193 Main Street.
The purpose of this transmittal is to report on archaeological excavations conducted by Richard J. Dent of Historic Annapolis, Incorporated during April and May of 1983 in the garden of the Hammond-Harwood House, 19 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis, Maryland. A second phase of excavations was in May of 1984. The approximately 94x134 foot parcel of land is located immediately to the rear of the Hammond-Harwood House. It is bordered by King George Street on the east, Cumberland Court to the west, and private residences to the south. The property lies within Maryland Archaeological Research Unit Seven.
The Sands House (18AP47) is located at 130 Prince George Street in Annapolis, Maryland. Historical documentation notes that a house stood on the property at least by 1706 (Liber W.T. 2, 1706: 402). Archaeological evidence indicates that an earthfast structure was built in about 1700. This building has been modified and renovated extensively. In the 1720's a fieldstone foundation was put under the house and in the late 18th century an addition was made to the west side of the house. In 1904 an addition was put on the rear of the house and the entire structure was raised. Archaeological excavations were conducted inside and outside the Sands House in 1988
by Archaeology in Annapolis. This work was sponsored by Historic Annapolis Foundation and the University of Maryland, College Park. This volume is the final site report for the archaeological investigations at the Sands House.
(2009) Blair, John E.; Duensing, Stephanie N.; Cochran, Matthew David; Kraus, Lisa; Gubisch, Michael; Leone, Mark P.
Four site reports are included in the one document. Locus 1: Tulip Poplar slave quarter; Locus 3: the North Building slave quarter; Locus 4: Red Overseer’s House, named by Frederick Douglas, home of Overseer Sevier; and Shovel Test Pits from 2005-2008.
Archaeological investigation at the Slayton House site in Annapolis revealed evidence of occupation of the lot since the early 18th century. The intact late 18th century ground surfaces on which John Ridout built the row houses, and subsequent changes in the landscape and use of the yard as work space in the 19th century were discovered. There was ample visible evidence of the early 20th century landscape and use of the yard as a pleasure garden when excavation was started. Deposits inside the house were quite disturbed, but there was evidence of the work done by the African Americans who lived there. A number of artifacts were found which may indicate the slaves and free African Americans were practicing African-related folk beliefs. No further investigations are recommended for the site. However, if severe or deep ground-disturbing activities were to take place on the property, they should be monitored by a
The State Circle well, discovered during the larger State Circle archaeological investigatons, is believed to be a late 18th-century public well. The moist environment of a well preserves ceramic, glass, metal, and organic material. It was hoped that intact 18th and 19th centuiy domestic deposits were preserved in the well shaft.
Because of time constraints, a three-inch diameter core was extracted from the well shaft, which extended thirty-five feet below surface. The results of the coring process enabled archaeologists to make a final decision not to excavate the well shaft. Historical documentation showed that the well was covered and had a pump and was still in use around 1900. The well had been filled in early in the 20th century with soil brought in from elsewhere.
(2006) Jones, Alexandra; Chisholm, Amelia G.; Leone, Mark P.
The Adams-Kilty House (18AP107) was built in the late 18th century and historical
documents revealed that the property has undergone a great deal of change to its landscape and
architecture over the course of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Renovations continue on the house
and even were taking place during the archaeological excavations.
The basement level was where African Americans lived and worked. This area was the
focus of the archaeological investigations. The deposits in the home were disturbed by
renovations which had been conducted in earlier times, mainly the installation of utility pipes.
There were bundles of artifacts associated with West African spirit practices (nails, shards of
glass, and an insulator) found in two locations within the basement, which were disturbed by a
utility pipe eruption. No further investigations are recommended for this site.
Beginning in the summer of 1998, Archaeology In Annapolis
performed a multi-phased archaeological investigation in and around
the James Brice House, a National Historic Landmark with associated
archaeological deposits (18AP38), located at 42 East Street in the
historic District of the city of Annapolis, Maryland. The work was
done under a series of contracts to the International Masonry
Institute, owners of the structure. Funding for the project was
provided by the IMI and the Maryland Historical Trust.
A total of twenty-eight units were excavated during the initial
portion of the project, and another four were excavated in support of
a secondary project designed to rehabilitate the retaining wall
located at the southern edge of the South Yard. In addition, several
trenches excavated during construction at the site were profiled, and
the lowering of the grade in the South Yard was monitored by
Archaeology in Annapolis staff.
Testing in the South Yard revealed evidence of a number of
filling and landform modification episodes dating from the periods
following construction of the Brice House up to the beginning of the
twentieth century. Further evidence of twentieth century modification
to the yard space was revealed in the form of a number of utility
trenches and related features. Features related to no-longer extant
stairs including brick piers and postholes were discovered in a number
of areas. Finally, an oyster shell drainage feature and associated
evidence of African-American religious practices were recovered from a
trench and excavation unit at the western edge of the yard space.
Excavation in the interior of the West Wing revealed the presence
of three major stratigraphic units with a large number of associated
structural and depositional features. The first of these depositional
units consisted of twentieth century deposits associated with
modification of the interior of the Wing, and the majority of this
material had been recently disturbed. The second stratigraphic unit
consisted of material associated with the construction of the Brice
House between 1767 and 1773. The final stratigraphic unit in the West
Wing consisted of structural features and a floor deposit dating to
the early 18th century. This material is potentially related to a
store owned by Captain John Brice and his son John Brice II.
Excavations in the East Wing and Hyphen also revealed a number of
stratigraphic units related to the initial construction and subsequent
modification of the Brice House structure. In addition, a large
deposit of late nineteenth and early twentieth century material
associated with the religious practices of African-American occupants
of the house was discovered beneath remnants of a brick floor in the
interior of the East Wing.
(1990) Galke, Laura; Jones, Lynn; Little, Barbara J.
In August 1990, archaeological investigations were permitted at 10 Francis Street (18AP55). The house on this property dates to the early eighteenth century and the property has had little disturbance since that time. Excavation here has provided an excellent opportunity to learn more about this period of Annapolis' history. Two units were excavated and are described fully within this report. One unit, placed next to the house foundation, revealed an eighteenth-century brick sidewalk beneath the current mid-nineteenth-century brick sidewalk, but it did not contain any builder's trench for the structure. A second unit, randomly place in the back yard, revealed intact stratigraphy dating back to the early eighteenth century. These findings demonstrate the integrity of this site and its potential for future investigation. Any alterations to this property should proceed only after further controlled excavations have taken place.
During the Fall of 1985, Mr. Paul Pearson and associates, owners of 193 Main St., Annapolis, Maryland, approached Historical Annapolis Inc. to perform archaeological testing on this property. Mr. Pearson and associates have proposed the construction of a small shopping and business mall on this plot of land, which presently serves as a parking lot, as well as on the adjacent property which contains the Playhouse Theater. According to two reports produced under the sponsorship of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1971 & 1983), this section of Main St. has been an area of social and political significance since the turn of the 18th century. based on the high probability of finding significant archaeological remains, a six week program of testing was planned in the parking lot. This work plan called for an average crew of four field assistants and one supervisor. Excavations began on December 2, 1985 and ended on Jan 17, 1986. Archaeological remains uncovered within the project area were located, identified, and evaluated for potential significance. Funding for this project was generously provided by Mt. Paul Pearson and associates.