Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Market Master's House, Season Two, Day Two

This message was written by Rick Ervin from the Maryland State Highway Administration:

It’s been a hectic week. I just returned to the area following a week in Detroit, and started fieldwork at the Market Masters House the following day. My excursion to Dearborn, Michigan involved a reunion of WWII veterans who flew B-26 Marauders during the war (my interest stems from the fact that my late father was also a veteran). (see this website for more information: http://www.b-26mhs.org/) I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Courtney, one of the crew, had a grandfather who flew in the B-26. A small world!

We started a test unit at the back of the Market Masters property on Monday. So far, we’ve had a mix of everything between about 1800 and late 2008. Late this morning we started excavating a feature – the boundary appeared somewhat amorphous, but it was obviously different from the surrounding matrix. As it turned out, we had a trench for a water pipe. Although I had hoped it might have turned out to be a little earlier, we are starting to find some earlier ceramics, including edgeware and various transfer print sherds.

We also found a small cross, about which Courtney may have more to say in the near future. We’ve heard that the cinder block garage situated within 20 feet of our unit was once part of a small service station or auto repair shop. We’ve found a few artifacts that appear to be tool parts and may relate to the garage.

Earlier today, another unit produced a lead musket ball that probably relates to the Battle of Bladensburg. A quick measurement indicates that the diameter of the ball is slightly more than one-half inch, suggesting that it may represent an American round that was fired into the British positions within the town of Bladensburg. Most of the American militia units were armed with .58 caliber muskets that fired a ball with a slightly small diameter (about .52 caliber). See a picture of the musket ball below, along with a thimble found in the same stratum, possibly dating to around the same time:
Earlier, the family that lives here stopped by to see the site. Unfortunately, we had not found much at the time they stopped by. Hopefully they will come back soon so we can show them the good stuff – we appreciate their hospitality!

The weather of course has been perfect now that the heat of summer is dissipating. Despite the traffic noise, we have quite an idyllic setting here under the trees. However, we just heard the call to start packing up for the day, so its time to sign off for now.....

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