Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Discovering Archaeology Day

On Saturday, Jenn Babiarz and Nichole Sorensen-Mutchie from the Maryland State Highway Administration participated in the second annual Discovering Archaeology Day at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum. They showcased artifacts recovered from the Market Master’s House, including a wide range of ceramic types, as well as toys dating from the 19th and 20th century. Several people who stopped by the table said they were from the Bladensburg area and were familiar with the houses where we have been excavating. They were surprised by the early history of the area and were interested in following the Bladensburg Archaeology Project as it continues.

About three hundred people attended this growing event. Tours were given of the Maryland Archaeological Conservation (MAC) lab as well as an active archaeological site at the park. Several people brought in objects for the experts from the MAC lab to identify. Other participants included the National Park Service, University of Maryland and Archaeology Society of Maryland.

Excavations will begin next month at the George Washington House/Indian Queen Tavern. Stay tuned for more information.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Third Workshop/ Project Update

The Bladensburg Archaeology Project had its third workshop last Wednesday night, April 14th. About 35 people came to the George Washington House to drink juice and eat cookies, hear a lecture about the Battle of Bladensburg and talk about local history. Mike Roller started the talk with a short overview of the project to date. He then gave an update on upcoming plans including the excavations at the George Washington House and the current investigation of battlefield resources from the Battle of Bladensburg. Nichole from State Highways passed around two War of 1812 musket balls found during fieldwork in the last few weeks.

Ranger Jim Bailey from the National Park Service gave a fantastic presentation on the Battle of Bladensburg. Jim is part of the historic interpretation unit at Fort McHenry and also leads the reenactment volunteers at the fort. His talk was animated and detailed, providing great maps depicting the movement of troops during those fateful couple of hours of Bladensburg history.

Fieldwork in the parking lot adjacent to the George Washington House will commence during the last two weeks of May. We will be updating the blog daily with a narration of our excavation. We are hopeful that the remains of the Indian Queen Tavern will be found here. Early this fall we will be returning into the field to investigate a portion of the property adjacent to the Market Master’s House. Hopefully we will expand our understanding of some of the older structures that stood on the lot next to the old stone house.
We can't wait!