“A fantastic range of historical narratives, archaeological investigations, landscape studies, and material culture analyses that define the nascent colonial town. Well organized and comprehensive, this volume traces the nearly four centuries of the city’s history, enveloping the reader in 50 years of groundbreaking archaeology.”—David M. Givens, director of archaeology, Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation
“An impressive overview of the archaeological and historical research undertaken at Historic St. Mary’s City in five decades worth of work. The editors have skillfully combined contributions from members of the first generation of those exploring Maryland’s former buried capital, to the next generation that continues to find new avenues for inquiry.”—Luke J. Pecoraro, coeditor of Stewards of Memory: The Past, Present, and Future of Historic Preservation at George Washington’s Mount Vernon
“Brings together fifteen case studies that highlight the historic city’s pioneering archaeological research program and its significant contributions to the study of early Maryland history.”—Mark Kostro, Longwood University
This volume summarizes the remarkably diverse archaeological discoveries made during the past half century of investigations at the site of St. Mary’s City, the first capital of Maryland and one of the earliest European settlements in America. Founded in 1634, the city had disappeared by 1750, yet the archaeology documented in Unearthing St. Mary’s City reveals its untold history.
Contributors to this volume review new research approaches and methods developed recently at Historic St. Mary’s City. They study the archaeology, architecture, and people of the lively seventeenth-century colonial hub. They also explore the landscapes of agriculture, enslavement, and remembrance that developed at the site in the centuries after the capital’s relocation to Annapolis. In their chapters, contributors delve into subjects such as soil analysis, ceramics, diet, forts, burials, plantations, state houses, tenants, tobacco pipes, gaming, and the education of women.
The lands along the Chesapeake Bay have witnessed a vast range of human experiences, and this book highlights the lives of peoples of European, Native American, and African origins who lived on this site over a span of four centuries. Their stories illuminate the multilayered nature of this important place and the broader Chesapeake region and serve as a testament to the potential and power of historical archaeology.
Henry M. Miller is the Maryland Heritage Scholar at Historic St. Mary’s City. Travis G. Parno, director of research and collections at Historic St. Mary’s City, is coeditor of Archaeologies of Mobility and Movement.
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