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Archeologists Working To Unearth One Of The Oldest English Colonies In Maryland

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A group of archeologists is working to unearth the first major foothold of a European settlement in the State of Maryland.

Video Transcript

- A group of archaeologists now working to unearth the first major foothold of European settlement in the state of Maryland.

- And Sean Streicher takes us to St. Mary's City, where they are uncovering artifacts that date back thousands of years.

SEAN STREICHER: It's a slow process--

RUTH MITCHELL: Right now, I am cleaning.

SEAN STREICHER: --diggin through history.

RUTH MITCHELL: It probably sounds really weird to clean dirt.

SEAN STREICHER: But the team of archaeologists with historic St. Mary's City is up to the task.

RUTH MITCHELL: The section I am in, there's a lot of stuff in here.

SEAN STREICHER: As they unearth one of the oldest English settlements to land in Maryland.

RUTH MITCHELL: You're looking at the archeological evidence of the fort that was constructed here in 1634.

SEAN STREICHER: Once home to more than 200 colonists, the exact location of St. Mary's Fort was unknown up until a few years ago, when a grant allowed them to complete a geophysical survey.

RUTH MITCHELL: Once the geophysics was completed, and we did some additional archaeology, we realized we've got it.

SEAN STREICHER: And now, as they sift through the layers of time, seemingly small discoveries--

RUTH MITCHELL: I just found a piece of lead shot.

SEAN STREICHER: --help paint the big picture.

RUTH MITCHELL: It's really hard to distinguish that from gravel, isn't it?

SEAN STREICHER: As they work mapping out the fort's layout.

RUTH MITCHELL: So we focused a lot on this area. This would have been inside the fort itself. And we believe we actually found a building here.

SEAN STREICHER: But they're also finding artifacts that date back much further than the 17th century.

RUTH MITCHELL: This is a partial Native American projectile point.

SEAN STREICHER: It's now known that native people occupied this land for upwards of 8,000 years.

RUTH MITCHELL: They came to an agreement with the Yaocomico tribe that they would share the land.

SEAN STREICHER: And it's this kind of work that's helping them understand their relationship and the role it played in shaping America's history. In St. Mary's City, Sean Streicher for WJZ.