Tag: Archaeology

Volunteer to help in the lab for the Herring Run Archaeology Project

The Herring Run Park Archaeology Project saw some exciting finds in the field this spring. But archaeologists Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer will tell you that archaeology isn’t just about what you find, it’s what you find out! Please join the project’s new volunteer lab manager Karen Hutchins-Keim and student intern Lily Roze Annenberg this summer as we clean and process the artifacts recovered during our archaeological dig this past spring. Go ahead and sign up today!

You do not need any previous experience to participate. High school-aged volunteers are welcome. Working in the lab is a great way to learn how archaeologists identify and analyze artifacts whether they are broken pieces of brick or delicate shards of pottery.

Lab work is scheduled for Saturday afternoons, 12:00pm to 3:00pm, between July 9 and August 13 at the Natural History Society of Maryland at 6908 Belair Road, Baltimore, MD 21206. Space for volunteers is currently limited to five people on each date so sign up soon with your interest.

You can also support the project by making a donation online to help cover the costs of the materials we use to conserve the artifacts. Finally, you can learn more about the dig with series of “Field Notes from Herring Run” that Lisa and Jason shared this past spring.

Artifacts from the Herring Run Archaeology Project, 2016 April 26.
Artifacts from the Herring Run Archaeology Project, 2016 April 26.

Field Notes from Herring Run: What did we learn from an amazing week of excavations?

Thanks to Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer for this final update from the 2016 field season for the Herring Run Archaeology Project. You can find their updates on our blog, the project website, and on Facebook.

2016 April 30
2016 April 30

As we filled all our test units in yesterday, we were discussing all the things we’ve learned so far from our amazing week of excavations. Here are some highlights:

  1. We have the most incredible volunteers. This was an awful lot of hard work, and you guys were all so wonderful. We cannot do this without you, and we cannot thank you enough.
  2. The early Broad family occupation (1680-1742) is intact, and this is indeed where their house was located! We didn’t know this for sure until this week, and this is a huge discovery—the earliest and best-documented historic site in Baltimore City and County!
  3. We have significant evidence that the enslaved women and men who worked in the Eutaw manor house lived in the basement. We’ve discovered two probable hearths that would have provided heat and cooking fires, a subfloor pit that was used for food storage, and evidence of a laundry where Venus Tilghman worked. Finding evidence that relates specifically to Venus and Jeremiah Tilghman and the other enslaved people who made life at Eutaw possible has always been one of the major goals of the project.
  4. The Eutaw house had a tiled roof, decorative marble flourishes (a mantle or even a marble entryway), and elaborate window hardware.
  5. The house also had a finished basement! Many of the stone walls we uncovered this year still had plaster attached.
  6. In the yard, a path paved with river cobbles and pebbles led to the house, and much of the material excavated from the cellar during the house’s construction was used to build a terrace that surrounds the hill where the house was situated.

We also have plenty of new questions to guide our future work. So thank you again to all our volunteers, visitors and supporters for another successful year!

2016 April 30
2016 April 30
2016 April 30
2016 April 30

Field Notes from Herring Run: What can you learn from a builder’s trench?

Thanks to Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer for this update from day six and day seven of the Herring Run Archaeology Project. You can find their updates on our blog, the project website, and on Facebook. You can also subscribe to the project email list to read these posts in your inbox.

2016 April 29
2016 April 29

We’ve continued working on both the Eutaw manor house and the earlier part of the site over the last two days, and we’ve learned a great deal in a very short period of time.

In the manor house, we discovered a mysterious pit near the southwest corner of the foundation that contained two complete wine bottles and several pieces of eggshell.

2016 April 29
2016 April 29

In the northeast corner, we’ve identified a builder’s trench. This may not sound very exciting, but it’s a significant find: the builder’s trench usually contains only artifacts that date to the time of a building’s construction, which allows us to put a firm date on a structure. This builder’s trench contains artifacts identical to those we’ve found in the earliest part of the site, where the Broad family lived from circa 1680 to 1740! This reveals two important facts: the first is that the Broads may have lived where the Eutaw manor house once stood, and that their home was displaced when Eutaw was built. It also allows us to positively, indisputably identify the Eutaw manor house as the building that was present from the 1760s until 1865—no later house took its place.

2016 April 29
2016 April 29

In the earlier part of the site, we’ve identified a trash midden containing domestic trash dating to the time of the Broad occupation – 1680 to 1740. This has revealed important new clues about life in the early colonial period in the Baltimore area – a time period about which we know very, very little. Amidst a truly huge number of oyster shells, we found a delicate china teacup, a Chinese porcelain bowl, numerous pieces of stoneware tankards and jugs, wine bottle glass, and clay pipe stems.

2016 April 29
2016 April 29

Tomorrow is our public day, and the last day for excavation at this tremendously important site! We hope to see you at the Archaeology Open House tomorrow, April 30!

2016 April 29
2016 April 29