"It is Quietly Chaotic. It Confuses Time"*: Final Report of Excavations at the Bordley-Randall Site in Annapolis, Maryland, 1993-1995 (18AP50)
Matthews, Christopher N.
Leone, Mark P.
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During the summers of 1993, 1994, and 1995, the Archaeology in Annapolis project conducted excavations at the Bordley-Randall site (1 8AP50) in Annapolis, Maryland. The site now consists of the central portion of the block formed by North Street, College Avenue, Prince George Street, Maryland Avenue, and State Circle. The excavations were undertaken as part of the University of Maryland, College Park's Field School in Urban Archaeology and were organized to be support for dissertation research being done by Christopher Matthews of Columbia University. This report provides a background, summary, and interpretation of these archaeological investigations of the Bordley-Randall site. The site was tested in five areas: the Front Yard, the Back Yard, the West Wing Yard, the East Wing Yard, and the interior of the East Wing. The excavations revealed significant deposits from several different periods of occupation. These deposits show the progression of the site from the early Settlement Period in Annapolis through the Modem Period (as defined in Weissman 1986). In many areas of the site the excavations discovered deposits dating to the early 1700s when the site was first occupied and built on by Thomas Bordley. These deposits also helped to date the house and the East Wing to before 1748. Later alterations to the site, dating to the third quarter of the 18th century, were associated with the construction of and use of a terrace around the East Wing. The landscape of the front and rear yards were discovered to have been altered in the mid-19th century by the laying in of an extensive kitchen garden in the rear yard and the building of a park-like garden in the front. These alterations were predominantly defined by fill soils and the definition of garden paths. Later alterations made the city block fully modern as the street front lots were sold off and built over with businesses on Maryland Avenue and residences on the other streets beginning in the 1870s. In the interior, around 1895, an oval-shaped path was built in the front yard to which many of the new residences faced forming an enclosed, semi-private, semi-public space, now known as Randall Court. This space has remained essentially in tact since the early years of the 20th century. The appendices to this report include a transcription of several key historic documents related to the site, the report to the Maryland Humanities Council for funding in support of a public program at the site in 1995, the level and feature reports, and the staff qualifications. The attached diskette has a zipped file of the Bordley-Randall site artifact database.
*This extract is from Gay P. Crowther's description of the Randall Court pathway (Cowther 1985).