Phase Ill Investigations for the Banneker-Douglass Museum Expansion, The Courthouse Site (18AP63), 86-90 Franklin Street, , Annapolis, Maryland, 2001


Phase III archaeological excavations for the Banneker-Douglass Museum Expansion Project were conducted over a six-week period in July and August of 2001. Archaeology in Annapolis undertook the project at the request of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The open lot on the north side of the Museum is part of the larger Courthouse Site (18AP63), a multi component site in the historic district of Annapolis. Previous archaeology for the Banneker-Douglass Project determined this area to be eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion D (archaeological significance). A new addition to the Banneker-Douglass Museum will impact all remaining cultural contexts. As no other alternatives are available, archaeology was planned to mitigate these losses. Known to have once held four separate dwellings built during the mid 19th century, the property was occupied until the structures were tom down in the 1970s. During the late 19th century, the area grew to become part of Annapolis' African-American community. Previous archaeology found intact cultural remains from this period including two different households' privies, a sheet midden, and other structural features. Current excavations pursued the retrieval and analyses of these contexts to increase the understanding of site formation processes and to provide additional information and insights into Annapolis' African-American community- its households, material culture, and adaptations. The development and everyday workings of African-American communities during the period of Jim Crow segregation have not been well documented. Examination of the built environment provides new insight into how and when this community developed. Ceramic, glass, and faunal analyses provide material comparable to other post Civil War African-American sites in Annapolis. This comparison allows the acknowledgment of the inevitable differences present within the African-American community-while also pursuing the nature of a common identity built around race and place.