Artifacts from the Oldtown I site.
The 2024 Tyler Bastian Field Session in Maryland Archeology will be held at the Oldtown I archeological
site (18AG9), near Oldtown, Maryland, from 31 May through 10 June, 2024.
The Field Session will follow-up on both a geophysical remote sensing survey directed by MHT in November
of 2020 (which identified several anomalies of interest), and brief ground-truthing excavations conducted
in October of 2023. The 2023 excavations revealed the presence of remarkably intact domestic features
with an approximate date range of 1750-1790 suggesting that they relate to the 18th-century fort and
dwelling of Colonel Thomas Cresap (a.k.a. the
Thomas Cresap is one of the most important frontiersmen in Maryland and American history. He played a
major role in land speculation, both at the northern and western boundaries of Maryland. He played a
role, along with the Delaware Indian, Nemacolin, in blazing a settler's road across the Allegheny Mountains
west to the Ohio Valley. He was heavily involved in the fur trade and sometime friend and sometime foe
of the Native American inhabitants of western Maryland and the Ohio Valley. He played host at his home
in Oldtown to General Edward Braddock, George Washington, and other important dignitaries from the
three English colonies of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, as well as from numerous Indian
Nations. His home was a refuge for colonists fleeing attacks during both the French and Indian War
and Pontiac's War that followed. And he was an early opponent of British policy in the west, opposition
to which would eventually play a role in the American Revolution (in which his son, Michael Cresap
would play a major role).
Site 18AG9 appears to be his dwelling based on both archival evidence and the dating of the artifacts
recently recovered. While prior research in 2009/2010 helped to identify 18AG9 as the leading candidate
site for Cresap's fortified home, the present project is the first to document intact archaeological
features suggestive of structures domestic in nature.
In addition to the contributions of the ASM,
funding for this project was provided in part by Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical
Trust. For more information or to register to participate in the Field Session, please visit
Spotlight: Maryland Archaeology
Special: View a Story Map About Partners in Pursuit of the Past
For More Information
For more information on the field session, or on how to join the Archeological Society of
Maryland, contact Dr. Zac Singer at
Zachary.Singer@maryland.gov or at 410-697-9544.