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An Update and an Invitation

We wrapped up our third year of fieldwork at the Eutaw Manor site in April (mostly), and after a short break, we’re getting ready for more work this fall. This update will include some of our findings from this year’s fieldwork, and tell you about an upcoming volunteer meetup!

2017 Field Season: During our first two years of excavation, we focused on trying to determine the exact dimensions of the Eutaw Manor House and evaluate the overall integrity of the site. What we’ve discovered so far established that the house was indeed, as advertised in a 19th-century newspaper, approximately 60 feet square. We have also learned that while there has been some degree of modern disturbance at the site – most likely some demolition of above-ground ruins in the 20th century – for the most part, the site is remarkably undisturbed. This year, we wanted to focus more on specific parts of the house, to see if we could establish the ways different parts of the house were used.

We opened a large block of units in the southwest corner of the house, and found the first (for us) of Eutaw’s chimneys, as well as a storage cellar and evidence of a bedroom. A smaller group of test units to the northeast further explored an area we believed, as of last year, might be a laundry – but as it turns out, we now think it may have been the living quarters of Venus and Jeremiah Tilghman, who were held as slaves by the Hall family in the early to mid 1800s.

 

Finally, we opened a series of units to try to identify A) further evidence of the Broad family’s occupation of the site (ca. 1680-1740), and the eastern wall of the Eutaw Manor house. We did find some artifacts dating to the Broad occupation, but not the eastern wall. Instead, we believe we may have finally found one of Eutaw’s outbuildings -perhaps a kitchen or other small structure…maybe a greenhouse or conservatory, given the number of flowerpots we found in that location. So, as usual, we have a ton of new questions to try to answer!

Project news: We invite all our volunteers – past, present, and future – to join us at the Maryland Natural History Society (6908 Belair Rd, Baltimore, MD 21206) on Saturday, September 9th, from 3-4:30 pm. At this meeting, we’ll let you know about upcoming field and lab opportunities, answer any questions you have about our work and archaeology in general, and ask you for ideas about how we can improve the project. We’re also looking for people who might like to take on a larger role in the project, as a field director, lab assistant, helping with school and public outreach, and a bunch of other stuff. Sad news: nobody gets paid, except in priceless experience and eternal friendship. But also good news! We will be bringing refreshments. Good ones.

So: are you interested in volunteering but never took the plunge? Just want to know more? Want to hear about all the different ways ANYBODY can join in and have an awesome time doing amazing archaeology? Want to tell us how we can do better? Then join us on September 9th! Please RSVP to herringrunarchaeology@gmail.com if you plan to come!

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