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 dividing it from the main Wye complex but the original structure would have been seen from the Wye house. In the East Cove three units: 76, 77 and 78 are placed in accordance with the estimated foundations of the slave quarter.
Unit 76 marks the north east corner of the structure and is placed in line with a previous unit with a known foundation area. Although this unit is likely outside the foundation remains, the 5 by 5 window still yields some signs of human occupation and helps define the edges of the original structure. At the start, work was stressed on a massive root layer containing petite and infrequent artifacts of ceramic and brick in loose silt. Beyond the roots the silty soil is compressed and new artifacts, such as glass, ceramic, brick and mortar are found frequently. It is possible that these finds were deposited at a higher layer and were pushed down by the large roots.
The purpose of Unit 77 is to locate the north wall of the slave quarters, but evidence of this is still uncertain. Over the last week, artifacts found include nails, ceramic, glass, and much brick and mortar.
Unit 78 is centered on the likely west wall of the original structure. Currently, artifacts found in this unit are too diverse for actuate dating. Ceramics, for example, are found in a mix of many dates. Also, over 200 large brick and mortar fragments have been counted. These massive inclusions suggest these items were possibly deposited together rather than by natural degradation of the structure.