The Magic and Mystery of Maryland Archaeology (Month)

At the beginning of April, to celebrate the 2019 Maryland Archaeology Month , the AAHA team took a field to visit the Anne Arundel County (AAC) archaeologists in their lab at Historic Londontown.  AAHA’s team of young professionals mixed with local volunteers and residents as County Planner Anastasia Poulos and Dr. Zac Singer presented details on two of the exciting projects on which they had been working.  Ms. Poulos has been engaging with AAC residents to document the large number of small family cemeteries that dot the County’s landscape.  There are believed to be over 500 such cemeteries within the county, but many have been vandalized, impacted by development, or are succumbing to the rising waters of the Chesapeake Bay.   Ms. Poulos hopes that by working side by side with local residents more of these important places can be preserved.  Meanwhile, Dr. Singer has been leading a team of volunteers to explore AAC’s western boundary – the shores of the Patuxent River.  Open to volunteers, and in collaboration with the Maryland National Parks and Planning Commission in Prince George’s County, Singer and his team have been traipsing the shorelines of Jug Bay to record evidence of the area’s Native American occupants.

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The presentations were extremely engaging, both to the volunteers and to our team of professionals.  The highlight of the evening was provided by Dr. Singer when he passed around stone tools and projectile points from an artifact collection that had been donated to the County, but which needs much help in order to identify all of its contents and to turn it into a valuable teaching tool.  The collection includes at least two Clovis points, one of which was no bigger than a thumb, and everyone geeked out at the opportunity to hold these 10,000 year old.  Needless to say, the AAHA team had a great time mixing with the AAC archaeologists, volunteers, and interested citizens, and was happy to host the few that could join AAHA for Happy Hour at the local pub afterwards. 

For further volunteer opportunities within Anne Arundel County, check out the following links or contact volunteers@losttownsproject.org for more information.

RESURRECTING HISTORIES: CEMETERIES OF THE FOUR RIVERS HERITAGE AREA

A SYMPOSIUM EXPLORING HISTORIC CEMETERIES IN ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, June 8th, 2019

At this half-day symposium you will learn how local historians, genealogists, conservationists, and archaeologists unlock the secrets of these historic cemeteries and find out what measures are in place to protect important commemorative landscapes of our past. Experts in history, archaeology, conservation, preservation, genealogy, and archival research will share their work and discuss best practices in the field to inspire preservation of cemeteries in the Four Rivers Heritage Area. Topics will include researching and documenting old cemetery plots, archaeological methods, legal issues, and physical threats related to climate change and development.

JUG BAY ARCHAEOLOGY FIELD SESSION

June 10-14 and June 17-21, 2019

Dig at a real archaeology site this summer! In partnership with the Lost Towns Project and Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary, we are offering volunteers the chance to dig alongside real archaeologists at a Native American Site in Lothian. Registration is required.  Please email Dr Zac Singer at pzsing23@aacounty.org to learn more or to sign up. (Fee)

Applied Archaeology Looks Forward After a Fantastic 2018

Building on 2017, which was AAHA’s best year since the Great Recession, 2018 proved to be the best ever year for the company.  Working on two separate MDSHA open-end Cultural Resource contracts, AAHA successfully completed Maryland State Highway projects in Alleghany, Dorchester, Garrett, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, while also working for commercial clients on a number of in Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, and Queen Anne’s County as well as within Baltimore City.  AAHA also worked with a number of non-profit organizations to assist them with their archaeological needs. 

Without a doubt, the highlight of 2018 has been AAHA’s collaboration with a team of specialists on the investigation, documentation and restoration of the Cloverfields house and gardens.  Currently owned by the Cloverfields Preservation Foundation, the property has been held in the hands of only two families since it was constructed in 1705.  During the first half of 2018, AAHA worked with architectural historian Willie Graham, dendrochronologist Mick Worthington, historian Sherri Marsh-Johns, geophysical expert Tim Horsley, architect Devin Kimmel and construction specialists Lynbrook of Annapolis, as well as many others, to investigate and document the house.  Based on their findings, the team recommended restoration of the house and grounds to the 1780’s with a focus on 1784.  AAHA continues to actively work on the investigation of the cultural landscaping surrounding the house as well as that of the house’s formal gardens.

The coming year is already shaping up to be equally busy, but with the addition of 11 new staff members, including new Project Archaeologists Brett Arnold and Matt Cochran as well as Lab Director Alex Glass, AAHA is well placed to build on the successes of 2018 and to help you meet all of your cultural resource management needs.

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