Findings include ceramics, foundation for unmapped building
Archaeologists continue to unearth artifacts that could indicate whether a cabin along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway was used as a dwelling at some point, but further research still is needed to determine who may have lived there and when.
Their collection of artifacts has grown to include buttons, blue transfer print ceramics, medicine bottles, part of a wine bottle with a pontil mark, cut nails, pieces of what could be a decorative pitcher, lighting glass, pane glass, the base of a teacup, blue edged ware, blue willow ceramics, Rhenish ceramics from Germany and an arrowhead.
Most items are believed to date back to the 1800s and even the 1700s. One medicine bottle for Dalby’s Carminativ is intact. It would have been imported from England in the mid-1800s, and the medicine, which contained opium, wine and peppermint, would have been used for colicky babies.
Another discovery has been the brick foundation of a building that does not appear on any old maps. The small, squarish structure, which is set an an angle to the other buildings could be a privy.
The archaeologists from the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration are partnering with the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area to help determine whether the 19th-century cabin on the property could have been used as housing for enslaved African-Americans in the 1800s. They began their work last week and will continue through Friday, Sept. 21.
Because SHA archaeologists specialize in African American archaeology and because the site is along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, it is a natural partnership for them.