My Summer in Maryland Archeology

By Justin Warrenfeltz

As the 2016 Summer Archeology Intern with the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), I have worked on a wide variety of projects, each more interesting than the last. In June, I assisted with the planning and implementation of the Archeological Society of Maryland annual Tyler Bastian Field Session in Maryland Archeology. As a former archeological crew chief, this was a perfect opportunity for me to contribute substantially to MHT’s work at the River Farm site. Under the guidance of archeologists with the Lost Towns Project, I assisted with excavation and site management.

Justin Janes Island

The author at Janes Island State Park in Crisfield

After the Field Session, State Terrestrial Archeologist Dr. Charles Hall asked me to plan and implement a research method for oyster shell analysis of artifacts recovered from the Willin Site in Dorchester County, most recently excavated by MHT archeologists in 2009. Using the MHT Library to research current literature on oyster shell analysis, I created a new shell catalog and collection forms and analyzed thousands of oyster shells recovered from the site. I learned – and practiced – valuable skills in artifact analysis, research planning, and project management.

Justin River Farm

Excavation at River Farm

Finally, working under the supervision of Dr. Troy Nowak, Assistant State Underwater Archeologist, I helped plan and implement both a marine survey, conducted by remote sensing, and a terrestrial survey of archeological sites in and around Janes Island State Park in Crisfield. This project introduced me to many different aspects of archeology with which I previously had no experience: I learned how to drive a small boat; conduct controlled archaeological surface collection and soil coring; and assist with magnetometer and side-scan surveying.

Justin with Charlie Hall

The author with State Terrestrial Archeologist Charlie Hall

My time with MHT has been an immensely rewarding experience. I learned a wide range of skills and developed important professional relationships with members of the Archeological Society of Maryland, Lost Towns Project, Maryland Archeological Conservation Lab, Maryland Historical Trust and Department of Planning, and the Maryland Park Service. I am immensely grateful to MHT and its staff for this unique opportunity.

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