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.
Under contract to Historic Annapolis Foundation, Inc., URS Corporation conducted Phase II and III archaeological investigations of the 99 Main Street site (18AP21) in Annapolis, Maryland. The central building that stands on the site was constructed in 1791. The site is on Maryland's western shore coastal plain, on the Chesapeake Bay. Excavations were designed to mitigate adverse impacts to archaeological remains by the construction of the Annapolis History Center project.
A total of nine excavation units were excavated, and 42 features identified. Significant features included the remains of architectural foundations from early 18th century buildings that existed prior to the present structure. A collection of 6, 934 artifacts were recovered. Many of the artifacts and features date to the early 18th century, while a second concentration dates from the late 18th century. Historical documentation indicates the earliest remains are part of a bakery and dwelling compound known to be in operation by 1745. The lot was owned through much of the 18th century by Charles Carroll, and rented to various tenants. The bakery caught fire in January 1790, while under the operation of Richard Fleming, and burned down the entire city block. Archaeological evidence of the fire was abundant. Historical documentaion of the circumstances of Fleming's life, and records of similar fires in craft workshops in other cities at that time, suggest site 18AP21 was the scene of a class struggle between craftsmen and merchants for control of the emerging domestic economy in a new nation at the turn of the 19th century.
Areas of the site to be impacted by construction activities have been investigated and documented, through this work or through previous investigations. No further work is recommended at site 18AP21 at this time.
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.