Phase I/II Archaeological Testing on Fleet Street (18AP111), Cornhill Street (18AP112), and 26 Market Space (18AP109), for the Proposed Fleet and Cornhill Streets Reconstruction Project, Annapolis, Maryland, 2008


From 3/31/08 to 5/30/08 staff from the Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), Archaeology in Annapolis Project, conducted archaeological testing on city-owned public right-of-ways at 26 Market Space (18AP109), on Fleet Street (18AP111), and on Cornhill Street (18AP112) prior to the upcoming undergrounding and replacement of city-owned utilities along and beneath these streets. In addition, from 06/02/08 to 06/20/08, undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the University of Maryland, Field School in Urban Archaeology conducted further testing of city-owned public right-of-ways on Cornhill Street (18AP112). This Phase II investigation has been conducted at the request of the City of Annapolis, Department of Public Works (DPW) as part of the Fleet and Cornhill Streets Reconstruction Project. The project area comprises the streetscapes of what is referred to as the Fleet-Cornhill neighborhood. Eleven test units were used to evaluate archaeological integrity and significance of these sites and to evaluate the potential effects of planned construction on archaeological resources.
Background research shows that the Fleet Street neighborhood was initially developed in the late 17th and early 18th century. Throughout the later 18th, 19th and 20th centuries the area became known as an ethnically diverse working class neighborhood in the heart of the city. Historical residents of the project area have included in the early 20th century native people of European, African descent, and a community of Russian Ashkenazi Jews in the early 20th century. Previous archaeological investigations found evidence of intact archaeological resources within the project area dating from the 18th to 20th centuries. In addition to providing evidence of patterns of Annapolis’ historical urbanization, several features excavated in the course of this project have shed light on the development of public space within this working class neighborhood. These features include a corduroy or log road dating to the first quarter of the 18th century; what is believed to be a Yoruba ritual bundle dating to the first quarter of the 18th century; and a series of city improvements (i.e. curbs, sidewalks, and a public well) dating from the 18th through 20th centuries. A high degree of archaeological integrity at all three sites has the potential to add considerable knowledge concerning both Annapolis city development, and an ethnically diverse working class community. All three sites are eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion D. Because of the integrity and uniqueness of the archaeological record within the project area, it is recommended that further archaeological research be done. Included within this recommendation is the need to process flotation and macrobotanical samples recovered in the field