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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Colonial-Era Trash Pit Found in Maryland

Friday, April 12, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND—Sewer work in Annapolis has uncovered a brick wall, a drain, a decorative piece of stonework, and an unusual collection of artifacts dating from prehistory, the colonial era, and the nineteenth century in an area of the city where members of the Calvert family once lived, according to a Capital Gazette report. The charter for the colony of Maryland was granted to Cecil Calvert, second Baron Baltimore, by King Charles I of England, in 1632. Archaeologist Matt Cochran of Applied Archaeology and History Associates said the artifacts, which include pearl ware, glassware, and stemmed pipes, appear to have been thrown in a trash pit associated with an eighteenth-century blacksmith's shop. Charred brick at the site is also thought to have come from this shop. Some of the pottery recovered from the pit is decorated with faint cord markings, and probably dates to sometime between 1000 B.C. and A.D. 1000. A piece of molded and hand-smoothed ceramic may have been part of a cartouche that once decorated the facade of a wealthy person’s home. “It is interesting to find a couple of thousand-year-old pottery [pieces] in the same context as Wedgewood pottery,” Cochran said. For more on archaeology in Maryland, go to "Belvoir's Legacy."

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