Phase II Archaeological Testing at the James Holliday House on East Street (18AP116), Annapolis, Maryland, 2010-2012
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Archaeological excavations at 99 East Street began in December 2009, with two shovel test pits dug to determine if the stratigraphy was intact at the site. Preliminary analyses concluded that the site was archaeologically intact, with materials found at least two feet below the surface and intact layers of deposition. In June 2010, more intensive excavations began as part of the University of Maryland Field School in Urban Archaeology, and continued until June 18. Two large, deep units (5’x5’ squares) were excavated in the backyard of 99 East Street and produced thousands of artifacts, including buttons, broken dishes, whole bottles, and a very large number of food bones, which were processed, cataloged and analyzed in the Archaeology in Annapolis Laboratory at the University of Maryland, College Park. In June 2011, three additional units were placed at the site, two 4’ x 5’ units in the backyard and a 5’ x 5’ unit in the basement of the house. These three units produced over ten thousand artifacts, including animal bones, glass bottles, broken dishes, dozens of buttons, marbles, a Spanish coin, and a corroded gun. These artifacts were processed, cataloged and analyzed in the Archaeology in Annapolis Laboratory at the University of Maryland, College Park. Finally, in the June 2012, three final units were placed at the site, one 5’ x 5’ unit in the basement, one 4’ x 4’ unit in the basement, and one 4’ x 4’ unit in the backyard. Over five thousand artifacts were recovered in these three units, including glass bottles, broken dishes, assorted buttons, marbles, slate pencils, straight pins, thimbles, animal bones, a redware tobacco pipe bowl, and a wooden lice comb. These artifacts were catalogued and are currently being analyzed in the Archaeology in Annapolis Laboratory. These many thousands of artifacts will identify how the Holliday family lived their daily life, showing what the Holliday family ate, how they were eating their food, and what they threw away or lost. Excavations at 99 East Street will continue for an additional summer season of excavation, which will help provide even more information about how the Holliday family saw themselves, the extent of their ties to the Naval Academy and how they negotiated their way around racism in Annapolis.