It’s been a while since our last update, and quite a bit has happened during that time. We have managed to survive digging through these last few wintery months thanks to several shelters and kerosene heaters that we have had around the site, although I believe we are all looking forward to the Spring, t-shirts and sun tans.
We had a very significant find beginning in October. We were aware from a past survey that there were remains of a brick foundation near Anne Arundel Hall. We had very little information, however, as to the extent and preservation of the foundation, and whether it would be affected by the new construction. The area around AA Hall was the location of the Hicks-Mackall Plantation, an 18th -century plantation, and one of the last few remaining large plantations in the area during that time. We believe that this building is a remnant of this family farm.
We dug several units in the area, strategically placed to locate sides and corners of the building. What we found is the brick outline of a building 16ft x 24ft! An interesting feature of the building is that it is made of recycled bricks from the 17th -century settlement, some even believed to have come from the nearby Brick Chapel (ca. 1667). The building has at least a partial cellar, filled in with brick rubble. While there were very few artifacts discovered in the fill, we had some very fascinating small finds: a cache of 17th -century Venetian glass beads. These were located on the top of the cellar fill, and were likely deposited from another site nearby.
With the winter weather we began working under the cover of a very large tent (which was itself quite an experience assembling), that is already yielding some very exciting finds. We have a layer of re-deposited plowzone (presumably from underneath Anne Arundel Hall) overlying a thick layer of sandy fill, which overlies original plowzone. This is a very artifact rich site and we are finally finding some of the artifacts we have been wishing for quite some time! These include large numbers of pipe stems, ceramics dating from the mid-17th century to 19th century, and glass from Colonial period wine bottles, windows, and drinking glasses. Other small finds include buttons, and a glass bead! It is a wonderful feeling not only to find interesting artifacts, but also, for us, to dig nice deep holes with such nice clear stratigraphy!
Posted by Scott Tucker