A View from the Waters Edge

With the opening of our first week here at Wye House, one can already feel the change in environment. To me, this has been an obvious change since working in Annapolis. First off, there were people. People everywhere, whether you liked it or not. That made working in Annapolis interesting, by far, with the feel of a lively bustling city. However, now knowing the history of the Wye House plantation, the city in which we have excavated for the past three weeks was not so unlike the atmosphere here at Wye House when it was at its prime.

Today Wye House is still privately owned, for the land has been passed down throughout the generations. When observing the atmosphere of the Wye House, the only sign of inhabited life may be that of the grounds keepers, or that of the owners dogs, exploring the land. However, the land was once greatly inhabited by a large family, in addition to workers manning the plantation, operating and contributing to the production of crops, and maintaining the grounds. The Wye House Planation was comparable to that of a bustling city-like environment we found in Annapolis. Fortunately, as a result of the constant maintenance of the land, we have the preserved architecture and infrastructure of a once 18th century society.

The site in which my unit is now working on is the believed site of a once slave quarter, which was owned by the overseers of the property. The slave quarter in question was a two-story building. There were multiple buildings along the water, aligning with where we are currently digging. With nothing but a Tulip Poplar and a varied other trees to align the waters view, it leaves one’s imagination to think of what the waters view of this land would have been. Unfortunately, the research being conducted won’t give a conclusive answer to that. However, we can gain knowledge as to the true location of the worker’s living space, and some insight into what material good might have be allotted to them based on analysis of the artifacts found.

We are only half way through week one. From here, I am in pursuit of contributing to put this puzzle together. Based on what we uncover here at the Wye House, I hope to find a glimpse of what the landscape here once looked like at the plantation’s prime.

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