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2005 Tyler Bastian Field Session in Maryland Archeology

Swan Cove Site (18AN934), Anne Arundel County
September 16 - September 26, 2005

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The first part of setting up involved everyone working to assemble the shelters.
With some work, the shelters took a form that would protect us throughout the field session. Their shade was needed.
One of the major tasks was to work on features that had been closed. Opening these units was the next priority.
In addition to old units, several new squares were identified for excavation. Other crews went to work on them.
Reopening Feature 18 turned out tobe a two day job. Removing backfill from the bisected pit was long and arduous.
Veronica Lathroum, winner of the Maryland History Day award, joined us, with her mom, for a couple days in the field.
One of the few "new" units begins to take shape. As the sun began to rise, struggles to get shade would develop.
Of course, those desiring shade could always move to the field lab. Volunteers had an unending supply of stuff too scrub.
Lunchtime lectures resumed with our lab director, Kara, describing the types of artifacts found in the area.
Back into the searing heat to search for the treasures of Solomon, or Drue. Feature 25 mostly yielded heatstroke.
Feature 51, nextdoor to 25 provided a constant supply of ceramics, metal objects and unlimited varieties of oyster shell.
In the end, this selection of artifacts from Feature 25 was pretty impressive on its own.
Newcomers and old timers worked side by side.
Nearing the bottom of Feature 18, Jane Cox works to preserve the stratigraphy first revealed 4 years ago.
As always, scientific method is the name of the game. Documenting everything from level elevation to soil color is vitally important.
Mapping the location of features and artifacts contained within them can be a long and tedious job. Field session volunteers had the opportunity to work on the most detailed jobs.
The result of the mapping efforts is comprehensive documentation of the site. Once dug, it can't be replaced
Jane expanded on Kara's artifact lecture with a comprehensive recounting of the other sites that make up the Providence area.
Photos are taken of Feature 18 before work on the next layer can begin.
Feature 51 yielded this Seal Top Spoon that survives from before the 1660s. When cleaned, a heart shaped makers mark was found in the bowll of the spoon.
As excavation of Feature 18 continued, many people got involved in the digging and a wealth of artifacts flowed from the ground.
Harry came up from St. Mary's City to regale us with tales of 17th century life in the colonies. Comparisons of Providence and St. Mary's gave life to the work we were doing.
Excessive heat was the watchword of this field session. The shelters we purchased 2 years ago have proven themselves over and over in the field.
Lab work continued throughout the session. This screen shows some of the large Milk Pan fragments found in Feature 25.
Oysters! Oceans of them were scrubbed clean for later analysis. Swan cove now has one of the cleanest oyster collections on the bay.
Pipe fragments appeared constnatly throughout the dig as well. Many, like the one shown here, contained maker marks or initials on the stem or bowl.
Typical ceramic of the day, like this Gravel Tempered Sgrafittto was another large portion of the daily finds.
Elevation measurements are an essential part of documenting the site. Carefull recording aides in understandingn what happened here.
Checking the markings on artifact bags with the data on the unit records helps to keep things straight.
One of the uniques fiinds of the week. This is probably a set of dividers that would be used for map makingor navigation. The legs of the device are probably broken or eroded off.
A plain looking pipestem resulted in intense interest. This stem has a brass rod imbedded in it. It may have broken off during the molding process.
This trefoil spoon was recovered from Feature 18. The end of the spoon matches another metal piece found earlier.
Dennis Curry sifts through another bucket of soil from the site.
By the end of the Field Session the extent of the excavation was truley astounding.
Paul Yung brought in his collection of molds and other pipe making equipment to show us how more modern clay pipes were made.
The annual social was held on site this year. Burgers, sausages, chicken and beef brisket were served to a ravenous crowd.
The Lost Towns Crew were great to work with once again. ASM thanks them for their support to our field session.  

Despite the unusual date, many of the usual crowd were eager to take part in the
Field Session this year. New participants have taken their place in our group
and we hope to see them at many other events.

Thanks - The Archeological Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Historic Trust would like to thank the Swan Cove Site landowner, Bill Storck, for his permission to carry out work during this field session. His enthusiastic support was essential to this event.