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Field School 2015 – Week 5
Ruth Mitchell


“Return to the Calvert House”



The southeast corner of the Calvert House where we are excavating this summer

The southeast corner of the Calvert House where we are excavating this summer

This week we transitioned from working at the Farthing’s Garden site over to the Town Center, where the Calvert House site is located. The Calvert House was built by Leonard Calvert in the early 17th century. Leonard Calvert, second son of George, was the first Governor of Maryland (1633-1647). During Ingle’s Revolt, the rebels captured and fortified the house he built and used it as their stronghold. Leonard Calvert died at this house in 1647 after the recapture of the colony. The colonial government acquired the building in 1662 to use as the colony’s first state house. The Calvert House also served as the largest public inn in Maryland from 1661 until about 1700. This summer marks the eighth consecutive field school season at the Calvert House, and we are excited to explore the south yard. Our focus will be on the southeast corner, where there is a very large black walnut tree.




Un-backfilling soils from excavations in the 1980’s

After moving equipment to the site and laying out
grid, we began by un-backfilling areas that had
initially been excavated in the 1980’s.


Straightening walls and screening topsoil

The purpose of this is to get down to the level that they stopped digging, so that we can carefully excavate the cultural features present. The students are now at the point that their skills are being put to the test. They have to carefully level out the units we are working on, and straighten the walls with trowels. There is an added challenge with where we are digging: the large roots from the black walnut tree!



Various glass from topsoil, including Brome-Howard house window glass from the 19th/20th century

We have just started two new 5 ft. by 5 ft. squares,
and the topsoil has been screened. The sod layer
contains fairly modern material, including nails and
window glass from the 19th-century house that once
stood on top of a portion of the Calvert House.
The Brome-Howard house was moved in the 1990s,
and now serves as an Inn!


Erin Crawford and Mickey Shymansky carefully troweling the soils

After removing the topsoil, we carefully clean and examine the surface of the next stratum to make sure there are no modern features present.