Preliminary Report on Phase I/II Archaeological Testing at 12 Fleet Street, 40 Fleet Street (18AP110), 30 Cornhill Street (18AP114), and 41 Cornhill Street (18AP115), Anne Arundel County, Annapolis, Maryland, 2008-2010


In June 2008, June 2009, and June 2010, undergraduate and graduate students under the supervision of staff from the Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), Archaeology in Annapolis Project, conducted archaeological testing in privately owned backyards at 40 Fleet Street (18AP110), 12 Fleet Street, 30 Cornhill Street (18AP114), and 41 Cornhill Street (18AP115). These sites are all located in the historic district of Annapolis, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. This project was an intellectual extension of previous testing that was conducted along the public right-of-ways at 26 Market Space (18AP109) and on Fleet Street (18AP111) and Cornhill Street (18AP112) during the spring of 2008. A total of eleven test units were excavated in the backyards on Fleet and Cornhill Streets during the summers of 2008, 2009, and 2010. The Fleet and Cornhill Street project area falls within the Council for Maryland Archaeology’s Maryland Archaeological Research Units, Coastal Plain Province, Research Unit 7, Gunpowder-Middle-Back-Patapsco-Magothy-Severn-South-Rhode-West Drainages. The project area is bounded on the east side by the Annapolis Historic District Market Space and on the west side by State Circle. The previously excavated streetscape units helped to address many of the research questions related to the development of Fleet and Cornhill Streets, and the ways in which the streetscape changed between the seventeenth and the twenty-first centuries. The backyard units provided the opportunity to further address research questions related to the archaeology of a working class neighborhood, providing the opportunity to compare different work and living spaces within the neighborhood. The test units excavated during the course of the project provided evidence of the use of backyard spaces during the historical development of the neighborhood. Historic features uncovered during the excavations included a late 19th and early 20th century privy at 40 Fleet Street, a 19th century cistern at 30 Cornhill Street, and evidence that the early 20th century owners of 41 Cornhill Street may have had indoor plumbing privately installed in their home. Excavated levels and features also revealed evidence of changing usage of backyard spaces through features associated with outbuildings that are no longer extant, as well as artifacts related to domestic and work related activities. This site report is an addendum to the 2008 site report, which details the archaeological findings from the test units that were placed along the streetscape of Fleet and Cornhill Streets, and the Market Space. The test excavations at 40 Fleet Street (18AP110), 12 Fleet Street, 30 Cornhill Street (18AP114) and 41 Cornhill Street (18AP115) indicate that the archaeological resources in the back yard spaces of Fleet and Cornhill Street generally have a high degree of archaeological integrity and are historically significant. The units excavated at the sites of 40 Fleet Street, 30 Cornhill Street, and 41 Cornhill Street provide supporting evidence that these sites meet National Register Criterion D for potential inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, although 41 Cornhill Street showed more disturbance than the other sites. These sites have revealed important information about the historical development of Fleet and Cornhill Streets, and the historic district of Annapolis, over the past two hundred and fifty years, and future work at the sites should be monitored.