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In the US state of Maryland, archaeologists are trying to discover the first major foothold of a European settlement.

It’s a slow process digging through history, but Historic St. Mary’s City’s archaeologists are up to the challenge.

They’re attempting to unearth one of Maryland’s oldest English settlements.

“You’re looking at the remains of a fort that was built here in 1634,” Ruth Mitchell, a senior staff archaeologist, said.

unearthed ancient settlement walltrace

The exact location of Saint Mary’s Fort, which once housed over 200 colonists, was unknown until a grant enabled them to conduct a geophysical survey a few years ago.

“After we finished the geophysics and did some more archaeology, we realized we had it,” Ms Mitchell said.

As they work to map the layout of the fort, the seemingly insignificant findings help to paint a bigger picture.

“We’ve put a lot of work into this,” Ms Mitchell said.

“We think we find a building here, which would have been inside the fort.”

However, they are still uncovering artifacts that predate the 17th century.

Ms Mitchell explained, “This is a partial Native American projectile point.”

It is now understood that Native Americans have lived on this land for over 8000 years.

Ms Mitchell said, “They came to an understanding with the Yaocomico tribe that they would share the land.”

This type of research is assisting them in comprehending their relationship and the part it played in shaping our culture.

“It’s important that we consider the past,” Ms Mitchell said.

“It helps us understand the present, as we all know, and it can sometimes direct us to understanding the future,” says the author.

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This dig site is open to the public, allowing Americans to see it for themselves and ask archaeologists questions.

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