From Pinkney House To Wye House

Pipe bowl from Pinkney House. Source: Benjamin Skolnik

Pipe bowl from Pinkney House. Source: Benjamin Skolnik

My first experience with archaeological excavation occurred exactly one month ago at the Pinkney House in Historic Annapolis. I thought I had had a relatively firm grasp on what archaeology would be like, but I learned quickly that excavating was more than just digging in the dirt for artifacts. I was assigned to Unit 18, which was located in the vicinity of what was once apart of a row of tenement houses known to be occupied by African American renters during the late 19th Century. I had anticipated scrupulous digging and sifting, but I was initially surprised at how data concerning the multiple stages of the unit were gathered and documented. Precise measurements and details of every level and feature are required for further interpretation once the unit is finished and the earth is replaced.

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