Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The Beginnings of Maryland

 From WBAL:

After nearly a century of searching, archaeologists found the oldest known colonial settlement in Maryland in St. Mary's County on Maryland Day, and they're calling it the find of a lifetime. Not even rain could dampen the mood: The excitement for Maryland archaeologists so close to piecing together the possible very beginning of Maryland history was palpable.

"I raced out here. I just kept taking pictures. I didn't know what to do. I just had to photograph this moment," said senior archaeologist Ruth Mitchell. Mitchell remembers the day in 2017 that geophysical technology found the remnants of an old, abandoned fort -- a bastion and its connecting wall -- dating back to 1634.

"But what did the fort look like inside? The answer to that question has yet to be determined based on the archaeological evidence that we discover," Mitchell said. Some of that evidence is found through tedious sifting sessions. On Maryland Day, they found a bullet for a musket.

"This is a German stoneware that dates to the 17th century and it was found at the site," Mitchell said. There's also imported pottery and jewelry, even a cannonball, found years before the fort itself. They also found a projectile point that archaeologists believe is at least a couple thousand years old -- more evidence that Native Americans also lay near the site. Under tarps near the fort, archaeologists say old dwellings show Native Americans once lived with or near the 200 or so English colonists at peak occupancy. A chapel sits across the road from pink flags marking the site. (Read more.)


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