Archaeology in Annapolis: Week 1 2012

Richard mapping bricks at Schwar's East.

Richard mapping bricks at Schwar's East. Source: Benjamin Skolnik

Archaeology in Annapolis this year has 3 different locations and the Unit I’m in is Unit 25, in Schwar’s East. We are in the backyard of a home that the owners have graciously opened up. This backyard consists of an average brick patio which laid on top of a foundation made of sand. Because the foundation had been laid in order to hold bricks, it wouldn’t consist of any artifacts because it had been handled previously by either construction workers or the homeowners themselves. This would have ensured that relatively little to no artifacts would be in the foundation before the bricks were laid.

The first part of our dig was fairly uneventful due to the foundation of a brick patio. The foundation consisted of sand and because it was The bricks first had to be removed and then the sandy foundation underneath said bricks. After that, my group called out more and more when items were found, such as glass shards, cigar wrappers, and a 1982 dime, minted in Philadelphia. I am always holding my breath whenever my group stumbles across an item of interest, hoping that it’s an item that will herald a glorious find. Despite the fact that I know better, this notion is still at the back of my mind, biding its time for the next time we come across a small artifact embedded in the dirt. On Friday, this notion was fulfilled when Duncan came across an empty .32 caliber Smith & Wesson shell casing. My entire Unit got fairly excited over this due to the nature of the find, however we had found a 1999 dime in the same level, which means that the terminus post quem, or earliest possible date, the shell casing could have been deposited is 1999. Despite this, the .32 caliber shell casing, to me, can be considered glorious for it came out of the blue and generated excitement in Unit 25.

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