An incredibly busy year of field work! We have had highs, lows and even some scary moments…. there were some real holding-the-breath-in times during the process of moving 1950s Margaret Brent Hall to its new home. After we completed digging around the structure, Expert House Movers came on board and started tearing up all of our precious dirt! They had to put huge steal beams below the building in areas we were unable to explore. Timing is everything and they did most of their digging right after Hurricane Irene blew through St. Mary’s County. Needless to say, it was a mudbath!
Once the building was moved we were able to carefully look at what was once below Margaret Brent Hall and it seems that the house movers didn’t impact anything significant. By strange coincidence, or crafty planning during the 1950s construction, the building was placed on the edge of a ravine filled with archaeologists favorite things: Trash!! We spent several months prior to the building mover’s arrival excavating in our careful and meticulous way what remained of this 18th- century filled-in ravine.
While digging in the ravine there were a number of really exciting finds. Not just typical pieces of very fragmented colonial bottle glass but actual large bases and entire necks of bottles. In addition, we now have an excellent assemblage of animal bones from a mid to late 18th-century context ready to be analyzed for aspects of period diet and consumption patterns.
Enormous quantities of ceramics and tobacco pipes were recovered. This is the kind of site that archaeologists live for! Going to work everyday and knowing that it may be the day we make new and amazing discoveries helps us all get through the times that we aren’t finding anything noteworthy.
- Posted by Ruth