Archaeology in Annapolis

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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.

The Sites in this Collection Include:


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 99
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    Phase III Archaeological Excavations at 99 Main Street, 18AP21
    (2005-02) Cuddy, Thomas W.
    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.
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    A Geophysical Survey at the Carroll House
    (1987-04-03) Worden, Paul A.
    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.
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    Preliminary Report: St. Mary's Site
    (1988) Kryder-Reid, Elizabeth
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    Archaeological Excavations at the Hammond-Harwood House Annapolis, Maryland
    (1985-05-31) Dent, Richard J.
    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.
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    Preliminary Archaeological Reconnaissance Survey and Site Examination of Five Facility Construction Areas at the University of Maryland, College Park Campus
    (1986-07-27) Koski-Karell, Daniel; Ortiz, Luis
    This report describes the conduct and findings of a preliminary archeological reconnaissance and site evaluation study of the terrain to be affected by four proposed construction projects, in the north-central portion of the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park, Prince Georges County. The investigation consisted of background research and a field survey (which included a controlled surface collection, and excavation of systematically-placed shovel test pits and one-meter square test pits). Both prehistoric period and historic period artifacts were recovered from each of the project areas. The greatest abundance of prehistoric materials came from the proposed location of the Animal Science/Agricultural Engineering Complex (Project Area #1). The prehistoric cultural deposit at that location appears to be a Late Woodland Period seasonal camp occupied by a single-family small band. It has been named "the James Salt Site" (18 PR 303). It is recommended that a Phase 2 evaluation investigation be conducted at that archeological site to determine its potential eligibility for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. The other project area investigated were for the proposed Environmental Services Facility Detonation Pit (Project Area #2), the proposed Landfill Transfer Station (Project Area #3), and the proposed Pesticide/Herbicide Storage Facility (Project Area #4). No potential significant cultural materials were found to be located in Area #2. The location of Area #3 is within the recorded boundaries of prehistoric archeological site 18 PR 48. However, the prehistoric and historic cultural materials in Area #3 are not interpreted as being of potential historical significance. The initial proposed location of Area #4 is within the recorded boundaries of prehistoric archeological site 18 PR 15. As a result of a design change, however, the proposed construction site has been shifted away from the terrain investigate in this study. The new location of Area #4 will be investigated at some time in the future. As a result of this investigation, no further cultural resources investigations are recommended in Project Areas #2, #3, and #4. However, it is recommended that a Phase 2 evaluation investigation be conducted in the portion of Project Area #1 occupied by Site 18 PR 303.
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    Phase I/II Report for the Banneker-Douglass Museum Expansion: The Courthouse Site, 86-90 Franklin Street, Annapolis, Maryland, 2000.
    (2001) Larsen, Eric L.
    During August and the first week of September 2000, Archaeology in Annapolis conducted archaeological excavations in the open lot on the north side of the Banneker-Douglass Museum on Franklin Street in Annapolis, Maryland. This Phase I/II investigatioin has been conducted at the request of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development in advance of rehabilitation and expansion of the historic Banneker-Douglass Museum. The projecet area is part of the Courthouse Site (18AP63), a multi-component historic site in the historic district of Annapolis. The testing area-which is now an open, grassy lot-is bounded on the South side of the Banneker-Douglass Museum, on the east by the new Anne Arundel County Courthouse and on the north by private law offices. Three mechanical trenches and five hand dug units were used in evaluating the archaeological integrity of the site and to evaluate the age and diversity of archaeological deposits. Background research shows that, during the 19th and early 20th century, this area held four separate dwellings. Previous archaeology found evidence of occupation at the site dating back to the 17th century. During the 19th century, the area became part of Annapolis' African-American community. No materials were found dating to the earliest periods, but a large and diverse assemblage of 19th- and 20th-century artifacts was recovered throughout the project area. Several features associated with the African-American occupation of the block. These include portions of two different household's privies, a root cellar/storage pit, a possible wood shed, midden and yard deposits, as well as other structural features. These features provide a particularly important archaeological opportunity to examine the African-American material world between about 1850 and 1930. This report provides analyses of the project area's stratigraphy and artifact assemblages and suggests strategies for subsequent archaeology of the site. The evident integrity of the site and potential for yielding important information and insights into Annapolis' African-American community, its households, material culture, and adaptations. The current site of 84-90 Franklin Street (part of 18AP63) is eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion D.
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    Field and Laboratory Manual: Historic District of Annapolis, the Bailey Homesire, and Wye House
    (2013) Deeley, Kathryn; Pruitt, Beth; Skolnik, Benjamin; Woehlke, Stefan; Larson, Eric
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    A Geophysical Survey at the Newman Street Site
    (1985-07-07) Bevan, Bruce
    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.
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    Feasibility Study of the Upton Scott House for Mrs. Coleman duPont
    (1972) Cosans, Betty
    The purpose of this feasibility study was to determine if the Scott house site warranted full-scale investigation and, if so, to formulate a series of recommendations to that end. This preliminary study involved three phases: 1. Construction of an historical base map illustrating the chronological sequence of ownership, development, and change. 2. Construction of an archaeological base map recording all standing structures and visible features. 3. Limited test excavations, the results of which were incorporated into the archaeological base map. Work was carried out by a site supervisor and two crew members during the week of July 31-August 4, 1972.
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    Legacy Project #1741: Archaeological Survey of the United States Naval Academy Shoreline
    (1996-10-30) Aiello, Elizabeth A.; Seidel, John L.; Murphy, Larry; Russell, Matthew; Russo, Jean
    The University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and Engineering Field Activity Chesapeake engaged in a cooperative agreement for the purpose of conducting a survey of the Naval Academy's shoreline. This survey was to include historical research and remote sensing investigations. The project location included the area from the Academy's Spa Creek boundary near City Dock, around the core of the property, up College Creek to the bridge on the Naval Academy which parallels the Dorsey Creek Bridge on King George Street, and around the shoreline of the Naval Medical Clinic to the old Severn River Bridge. Archival research produced information regarding land reclamation and acquisition by the Naval Academy since its establishment on Windmill Point, as well as the history of land use prior to the Academy's existence. The Naval Academy, established in 1845 on the grounds of Fort Severn, has had a significant effect upon the shoreline over the years. Lands along the waterfront have been used for a variety of purposes including defensive works, basins, docks and wharfage, and training exercises. Prior to 1845, the shoreline areas were used by civilians for such things as ferryboat landings, shipbuilding operations and docks. Past industrial activities include the existence of lumber yards and oyster packing plants. It is probable that traces of many of these resources exist beneath the "reclaimed" lands of the Academy and the water immediately fronting its shoreline. This investigation was undertaken to determine the extent of this possibility. Archival research yielded records of filling and dredging operations around the Academy. Cartographic research and the digitized map overlays revealed the location of earlier shorelines and shore installations, making it possible to highlight areas of potential archaeological sensitivity beneath the landfill. Further evidence of such buried resources came from other sources. Photographs were located at the Academy's Department of Public Works which show well-preserved "old sea walls" being uncovered during "new building" construction in 1919 on the grounds of the Academy. While documentary research concentrated on buried shorelines which are now inland, concealed beneath fill, other investigations concentrated upon the current waterline and river bottom adjacent to the Academy. Remote sensing operations detected 65 anomalies located in the waters of the Severn River, College Creek and the Annapolis Harbor off the Academy's shoreline. These anomalies were investigated by divers from the University of Maryland, College Park, with the assistance of volunteers. Anomalies were located using a Systematic Differential Global Positioning System and investigated by the dive team. Anomalies identified by the divers included anchors, anchor chain, and iron pipes of various sizes. The majority of the anomalies, however, are buried beneath the silt and sediment of the river; they could not be located without disturbance of bottom sediments.
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    Analysis of Faunal Remains Recovered From the Wye House Located in Talbot County, Maryland (18TA314)
    (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).
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    Paca Garden Archaeological Testing, 18AP01, 186 Prince George Street, Annapolis, Maryland
    (1990-08) Galke, Laura J.; Little, Barbara J.
    During the summer of 1990, the brick canal which provides spring water for the Paca Garden pond was undergoing repair, providing the opportunity for archaeological excavation. The Paca property (18AP01) has been the subject of several archaeological investigations since the mid-1960s, but the lack of proper documentation made further investigations necessary. Three units were excavated and are described fully within this report. These units revealed that on the lower terrace of the Garden, no eighteenth or nineteenth-century layers exist to the south and east of the canal. Within the boundaries of the canal, nineteenth- and twentieth-century layers of fill were recovered. In addition, a few eighteenth century artifacts were recovered, providing some evidence for an eighteenth-century layer. Such information provides a clue to the construction techniques used to reconstruct the current garden. A summary of previous investigations and current findings are presented.
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    A Geophysical Survey at the Carroll House
    (1987-04-03) Bevan, Bruce W.
    The Charles Carroll House is located on the south side of historic Annapolis, where the Duke of Gloucester Street meets Spa Creek. Charles Carroll, the house builder's son, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The house is a part of the property for St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church and plans are being made for the historical renovation of the house and garden. 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.
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    Archaeological Testing at the Brice House, A National Historic Landmark, Annapolis, Maryland, Interim draft report: The West Wing Interior
    (1984-08) Basalik, Kenneth J.; Brown, Ann R.; Epperson, Terrence W.
    The James Brice House is a National Landmark located in the Annapolis Historic District, Annapolis, Maryland. The house is being restored under a program sponsored by the International Masonry Institute (IMI). On November 4, 1983 the firm of Edmonson and Gallagher, representing IMI, contracted with Cultural Heritage Research Services, Inc. (CHRS , Inc.) of Brookhaven, Pennsylvania to conduct an archaeological testing program in the west yard of the Brice House. This testing was to provide information to support the final restoration design of the west wall of the west wing and to ensure that restoration activities would not disturb important archaeological deposits surrounding the structure. The testing program in the west yard was completed during the months of November and December 1983 (see Basalik and Brown 1983).
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    Preliminary Report on Archaeological Investigations in The Eastport Neighborhood of the City of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland: 119 Chester Avenue (18AP93) and 110 Chesapeake Avenue (18AP94)
    (2003-02) Palus, Matthew M.; Leone, Mark P.
    From June 11- July 19, 2001, the University of Maryland archaeology field school conducted test excavations at two properties in the Eastport neighborhood of the City of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County Maryland, at 119 Chester Avenue (Site 18AP93) and 110 Chesapeake Avenue (Site 18AP94). This investigation was initiated by Archaeology in Annapolis, a cooperative project between the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) and the Historic Annapolis Foundation (HAF), and was conducted in association with the instruction of the summer field school in urban archaeology offered annually through the Department of Anthropology at UMCP. Investigations at these two properties were undertaken as part of an initiative to explore Eastport as a potential area to host future seasons of excavation with the UMCP archaeology field school, both to contribute towards a deeper understanding of the history and development of this community and to provide archaeological data where currently there is very little available. This research is being developed in consultation with Peg Wallace at the Annapolis Maritime Museum in Eastport. The research described in this report was conducted under the direction of Dr. Mark P. Leone, Department of Anthropology at UMCP, and Dr. Jessica Neuwirth, formerly with the Historic Annapolis Foundation, with field supervision by Matthew Palus and Kris Beadenkopf.