41st Annual Spring Symposium on Archeology

Imagining Contact: Bringing Past Worlds Together

Presented by the

Archeological Society of Maryland, Inc.,
and the
Maryland Historical Trust
Office of Archeology

Saturday, April 1, 2006
Crownsville, Maryland

John Smith's Chesapeake Voyages, 1607-1609
Wayne Clark, Maryland Historical Trust

The establishment of the first permanent English colony in North America 400 years ago is once again the subject of a movie and new publications on this pivotal point in Chesapeake Bay and world history. The National Park Service Chesapeake Gateway Program funded the production of a publication that provides new insights into the Chesapeake Bay's Indian cultures, environment and English explorations during the period of Captain John Smith's presence in the Virginia colony. This presentation will give a summary of this critical period of contact and draws from new illustrations from the work to highlight his presentation.

The Iris McGillivray Memorial Lecture

Iris McGillivray was a founding member of the Archeological Society of Maryland, Inc., ably serving the Society for over thirty years as Secretary, President, Newsletter Editor, Field Session Registrar, and Membership Secretary. She is perhaps best known, loved, and respected for her organization of the annual Spring Symposium, first held in 1965, arranging all aspects of the day-long program. In 1991 Iris was presented with the Society's William B. Marye Award to honor her services to archeology in Maryland.


Thus Spoke Pocahontas: Reconstituting Virginia Algonquian Discourse at Contact
Blair Rudes, University of North Carolina Charlotte

As the Algonquian translator for the The New World, my contract called for me simply to translate dialog from English into Virginia Algonquian, but there was nothing simple about the work. To create the Virginia Algonquian dialog, each English phrase had to undergo a literal translation, in which I turned the conversational English used by the director into English sentences with concrete meaning; a conceptual translation, in which I "imagined" whether and how a seventeenth-century Algonquian might think about the same emotions, events, and ideas; and a linguistic translation, in which I found or created Algonquian words to express the meaning and put them into grammatical phrases. I will illustrate the work with examples of dialog from the film.

Walking on the Land of My Ancestors
Mary Hope Billings

In early spring 2004, I was approached by a talent search company representative who was looking for American Indians to be background extras for The New World, a film about the arrival of John Smith and company in 1607 on the shores of the Chesapeake. After being selected, it dawned on me that these were my ancestors they were talking about. I would be my own ancestor. I know I am the sum of my ancestors and I have portrayed them and walked where they had walked, which has been both humbling and an honor.

The Captain John Smith 400 Project: Retracing John Smith's Chesapeake Voyages
Chris Cerino, Sultana Shipyard

On April 15, 2005, shipwrights at the Sultana Shipyard in Chestertown, MD laid the keel for a reproduction of the 28-foot open boat, or shallop, used by Captain John Smith to explore and map the Chesapeake Bay in 1608. Launched on November 4, 2005, the shallop is currently on a year-long museum tour of the Chesapeake region. On May 12, 2007, a crew of modern adventurers will board this vessel and set out on a 1,700 mile journey to retrace Smith’s historic voyages.

The Richard E. Stearns Memorial Lecture

The Richard E. Stearns Memorial Lecture is named in honor of Richard E Stearns (1902-1969), curator of the Department of Archeology at the Natural History Society of Maryland for more than 30 years. Mr. Stearns located numerous archeological sites in the Chesapeake area, and carefully documented his surface and excavated finds. He published numerous archeological articles and several monographs, and donated his collection to the Smithsonian Institution. A commercial artist by profession, he was nonetheless a pioneer in Maryland archeology, instrumental in recording much of Maryland prehistory.


Seeking Toghwogh: Predictive Modeling on the Upper Eastern Shore
John Seidel, Washington College

In 1608, Captain John Smith explored the upper reaches of the Chesapeake Bay. Smith stayed for several days in a palisaded village on the eastern side of the Bay, with a group he called the Tockwogh. While the location of their village has been elusive, recent research at Washington College is beginning to shed light on their territory. A GIS and predictive model was developed for Kent County and field surveys begun along the Sassafras River, to refine the model and begin the search for Tockwogh. Although still in progress, the survey results are encouraging and quite surprising.

The Posey Collection: An Accessible Resource for Studying a Contact Period American Indian Village in Maryland
Sara Rivers Cofield, Maryland Archeological Conservation Laboratory

The Posey site is located in Charles County, Maryland, aboard the Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center. In 1963, the site was identified by Calvert Posey, a Navy chemist who worked near the site and spent his lunch breaks digging there. Professional excavations followed in 1985 and 1995. The Posey site represents an American Indian settlement dating from c.1650-1700. Excavations recovered American-Indian pottery, beads, and pipes, as well as glass, metal, and other European trade goods. These artifacts are available for study at the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory and through a new website being launched this year.