The Art of Mapping and Its Implications

Despite the recent increase of various types of new technology in the field of archaeology, including GIS, LiDAR, and more, archaeologists still like to stick to the old paper-and-pencil route for many tasks out in the field. With the discovery of a large collection of artifacts this past week, I had the opportunity to further develop my paper-and-pencil skills by mapping a unit, while also learning about the implications that such maps can have when it comes to the archaeological sites here at Wye House.

Exposed artifact arrangement under entryway to quarter

Units 79 and 80 facing what would have been the inside of the quarter. Source: Archaeology in Annapolis

As the June 20th post entitled, “Welcome to Wye,” states, Units 79 and 80 have been placed along the front door of a two-story brick quarter. For many days, these two units excavated through a variety of artifacts, including glass, ceramics, nails, and more brick and mortar than we knew what to do with. As interesting as these artifacts were, there was no discernible pattern that reflected a significance of the doorway equivalent to the spiritual bundles found in the greenhouse three summers ago. That all changed just a few days ago when both units seemed to simultaneously come down onto a potentially significant assortment of artifacts amidst even more brick and mortar. In Unit 79, we uncovered several flat pieces of iron, a large round piece of glass from the bottom of a jug, various pieces of glass bottles, an inkwell, and an unknown metal fixture and in Unit 80, we uncovered more pieces of iron and glass, as well as a large spoked wheel.

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