47th Annual Spring Symposium on Archeology

Three Centuries of Conflict: The Archaeology of War

Presented by the

Archeological Society of Maryland, Inc.,

Saturday, April 21, 2012, 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
People’s Resource Center
Maryland Historical Trust
100 Community Place
Crownsville, MD 21032-2023

The 2012 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.


Vestiges of the War of 1812 in Maryland
Ralph Eshellman, PhD., Eshelman and Associates

Over 600 resources related to the War of 1812 have been documented in Maryland, more than any other state in the union. This paper will examine the kind of resources that survive in Maryland, including battlefields, skirmish and raid sites, forts and earthworks, standing historic structures, graves, and archeological sites. A summary of War of 1812 related archeology conducted in Maryland will be presented and possibilities for future archeological work suggested.

Archeological Investigations of the USS Scorpion
Alexis Catsambis, Naval Historical Center, U.S, Navy

With careful planning and preparation, the Naval Historical and Heritage Command’s Underwater Archaeology Branch, in conjunction with the Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland State Highway Administration have continued the archaeological investigation of what is believed to be the wreck of the USS Scorpion. Captained by US Navy hero Joshua Barney, Scorpion served as flagship in the famous Chesapeake Bay Flotilla, which endeavored to defend Washington, D. C. from the British during the War of 1812.

“3D Laser Scanning Applied to Historic Sites and Artifacts”
Michael Raphael, President and Chief Engineer, Direct Dimensions Inc.

This presentation will provide background and exposure to the growing adoption of 3D scanners and associated software tools for archaeological and historic documentation. A myriad of case study projects will be presented to show the depth and breadth of use and application within archaeology, with a focus on military conflicts.

The Lattimer Massacre Project
Michael Roller, PhD Candidate, University of Maryland

On the 10th of September of 1897, in the anthracite coal region of northeast Pennsylvania, 60 striking coal miners were struck by bullets from a company-hired posse, and about 20 died. In the fall of 2010, archaeologists from the University of Maryland, along with the crew of BRAVO of New Jersey, investigated this tragic field of violence, looking for evidence of the event. Now, archaeological investigations, archival research and oral history are being conducted to better understand this violence.

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.


“Archaeology at Fort William Henry, Site of “The Last of the Mohicans”
Dr. David Starbuck, Plymouth State University

After a hiatus of 11 years, excavations resumed at Fort William Henry (Lake George, New York) in the summer of 2011. Best-known as the British fort that was destroyed by the French in the novel "The Last of the Mohicans" by James Fenimore Cooper, this 1750s' log fort was partially excavated and then reconstructed in the 1950s. The objectives of the new research are to aid in the preparation of modern exhibits at the fort and to find better ways to retell the stories of murder, scalping, betrayal and massacre that have always dominated portrayals of the fort.

P.O. Box 1142: The Hidden History of a World War II Interrogation Center
Matthew Virga, National Park Service

Known only by it's code name, P.O. Box 1142, Fort Hunt was the scene of thousands of secret interrogations of the highest ranking Axis leaders and soldiers. Sixty years after the end of World War II, the National Park Service embarked on a comprehensive research project to uncover the hidden history of P.O. Box 1142. Besides uncovering thousands of recently-declassified documents, the National Park Service has conducted oral history interviews with over seventy veterans who served at this secret facility.

Determining Commodore Joshua Barney's Artillery Position in the Battle of Bladensburg, August 24, 1814: a volunteer archaeological project.
Dr. Noel Broadbent, Dept. of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History

Investigation of the site (Reservation 520, Rock Creek Park) focused on delineating the foundation and floors of a brick building that was discovered during testing, which provides a reference point for determining the position of Joshua Barney's battery. Barney's two 18-pounders were described as being within several yards of this location. After being overrun by the British, Barney was treated for his wounds by a spring, henceforth called "Barney's Spring. The dig was lots of fun, educational, and stimulated local interest and participation in learning about the history and archaeology in this part of the city.