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Annual Archeology Field Session

Eroding riverbank at the Calverton site site. Credit: Jason Tyler
Eroding riverbank at the Calverton site site. Credit: Jason Tyler

This cooperative venture between the MHT Archeology Program and the Archeological Society of Maryland runs 11 days, inclusive of weekends and the Memorial Day holiday, and is open to the public. The purpose of the Field Session is to train lay persons in archeological methods and teach Maryland's past through hands-on involvement, while making meaningful contributions to the study of Maryland archeology.

The annual Field Session, now in its 46th year, has investigated sites ranging from Archaic camps to Late Woodland villages to historic mills and plantations. It has been held in 14 of Maryland's 23 counties, and has examined 33 different sites.


1682 plat of Calverton by Robert Jones
1682 plat of Calverton by Robert Jones

2017 Field Session

This year's Field Session will take us to the Calverton site along Battle Creek in Calvert County. In 1669 Lord Baltimore ordered that towns should be laid out in every county of the province to encourage trade. William Berry, who owned a large tract of land on Battle Creek, offered twenty acres to be designated as town land for Calvert County. The shoreline there featured a deep natural harbor and some protection from the winds and water on the Patuxent River. A plat of Calverton—also known as Battle Town and Calvert Towne—drawn by Robert Jones in 1682 shows several public buildings including a courthouse, prison, and chapel, along with dwellings and outbuildings. Four dwellings are labeled with the names Tawny [sic], Berry, Banks, and Cosden. Two small unlabeled buildings appear near one another on the plat and seem to be dwellings, indicated by chimneys. The town was abandoned after the courthouse and county seat were relocated to Prince Frederick in 1724. The town site has been in agriculture since it fell into disuse.

The principal goal of the field session will be to investigate what remains of the town, particularly buildings identified on the 1682 plat. A magnetic susceptibility survey undertaken in early May 2017 indicates that some of these structures appear to survive archeologically. It is urgent that we take this opportunity to explore Calverton as the site is threatened by storm surge, erosion, and sea-level rise. More than 40 meters of shoreline have eroded away over the past three centuries and the rate is increasing. As a result, the Maryland Maritime Archaeological Program will bring a research vessel to the site during the field session to scan for what may remain of eroded and submerged resources.

Preliminary results of magnetic susceptibility survey, May 2017.
Preliminary results of magnetic susceptibility survey, May 2017.

The Field Session will run for 11 consecutive days beginning on Friday, May 26th and ending on Monday, June 5th, inclusive of weekends and the Memorial Day holiday. You are invited to participate for as little as a few hours to as much as the entire 11 days. For more information, click below.

» DETAILS ABOUT THE SESSION ON THE ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF MARYLAND WEB SITE


For More Information

For more information on the field session, or on how to join the Archeological Society of Maryland, contact Dr. Charlie Hall at (410) 697-9552.