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Possible Spanish Cross Discovered at St. Mary’s Colonial Fort

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Maryland Spanish CrossHISTORIC ST. MARY’S CITY, MARYLAND—The Washington Post reports that a small Christian cross thought to have come from southern Spain’s Roman Catholic pilgrimage city of Caravaca has been unearthed in southern Maryland, at the site of an English colonial fort first constructed in 1634. Many of the colonists who lived at the site were Catholics who fled persecution in England. The object, estimated to be 370 years old, is made of copper alloy and has two crossbars with flared ends, in the style of crosses produced near Caravaca. A broken hole at the top suggests it was worn as a necklace or was attached to a Catholic rosary. “What is a Spanish artifact doing here?” asked archaeologist Travis Parno of Historic St. Mary’s City. “Given the [tense] relationships between Spain and England it’s always interesting to find a Spanish object.” Parno thinks it may have been acquired by a colonist through trade with local people who had contact with Spanish missionaries. “We know that Spanish material culture, particularly religious material culture, was…traded in…networks up and down the East coast,” he said. For more, go to "Maryland's First Fort."

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