Browsing the blog archives for June, 2012

Making Archaeologists

The following was written for the Day of Archaeology blogging event, 2012: The weather report says that today is hot and humid. High 101° F. Heat index near 110° F. The students of the 2012 Archaeology in Annapolis field school from the University of Maryland know that it will be a sweltering and tiring day […]


Brick Wall Found in Unit 74!

Unit 74 is located furthest Southeast on the South Long Green at the Why House Plantation. The primary goal of our unit -along with the four others on the South Long Green- is to uncover remains of an old slave quarter that is theorized to have been built there in the 18th Century. During our […]


The East Cove

Compared to the urban environment of Annapolis, the rural landscape of Wye house has new archaeological challenges. Rural Archaeology involves larger soil layers and more environmental processes which impede troweling. Students in the East Cove are excavating the site of a structure once used as slave quarters. The site is currently concealed by high vegetation […]


Urban Annapolis and Rural Wye House

As we ended our excavations in Annapolis and moved to the very different setting at Wye House, it has been interesting to reflect on the differences between the two units on which I have worked – particularly on their stratigraphy and the artifacts they produced – and what those differences say about the sites. The […]


Homo Faber

The proper study of Mankind is Man. ­­­                                                                                                —Alexander Pope As a sub-field of anthropology, American archaeology is always concerned with the width and breadth of humanity and with the individual lives of its progenitors.  As detailed in other entries on this blog, this year’s field cohort have pursued this basal goal in line with […]


Goodbye Annapolis, Hello Wye House

Annapolis is a city of perceptions. Known as “the historic city,” it was designed to look old. The buildings, lamps, trollies and brick sidewalks all exude the feeling of a city lost in time. The thick, black electricity wires are the only reminder that we are living in the 21st century. The theme of perceptions […]

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Farewell Annapolis

This week was definitely one of the most arduous, yet entertaining weeks so far. Early in the week, our team from unit 26 unearthed an articulated animal skeleton. We have yet to determine the exact species, but we believe it to be a young lamb or goat. Initially, it was thought to be a calf […]


Unit 26

As we close up our units on Cornhill Street, it is cool to reflect on what we have accomplished in the past three weeks.  My unit, number 26, faced the initial challenge of removing six inches of gravel from the backyard we were digging in.  It took us the entire first day to clear the […]

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Week 3 in Annapolis

It is week 3 in downtown Historic Annapolis, and we have until Thursday to dig in our sites and then it is of to Wye House for the last 3 weeks of digging. Although many of the units are coming to sterile clay levels while their units come to a close, my unit (28) is […]


Working with Historic Maps

One of the most important strengths of historical archaeology is our ability and willingness to combine anthropology, dirt, and the historical record.  Using documents to aid archaeological research is one of the defining characteristics of the discipline.  These come in many forms–including, but certainly not limited to, deeds, journals, diaries, letters, probate inventories, wills, church […]

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