Archaeologists in southern Maryland announced Monday that they found the oldest known colonial site in the state using radar technology.
Travis Parno and Tim Horsley, scientists from a historic museum located in St. Mary’s, found a fort built by settlers in 1634, The Washington Post reported. Parno and Horsley reportedly used ground-penetrating radar to pinpoint the fort’s exact location.
Archaeologists find earliest colonial site in Maryland after nearly 90-year search https://t.co/oE7HrAkZe1
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 22, 2021
St. Mary’s Fort was built by about 150 colonists who came to Maryland aboard two ships, the Ark and the Dove, according to a statement released by the museum to The Bay Net. It was the fourth English colony built on the continent, after Jamestown, Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay.
“Finding the location of Maryland’s original settlement is truly exciting news for our state and will give us an opportunity to reconnect with our pre-colonial and early colonial years,” Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan told WTOP.
Archaeologists had been searching for St. Mary’s Fort since the 1930s, according to The Washington Post. St. Mary’s was the capital of the Maryland colony until the 1690s, when it was moved to Maryland’s present-day capital, Annapolis. (RELATED: WWI Shipwreck Graveyard Declared National Marine Park)
Upon excavating the site, archaeologists reportedly found the cellar of a guardhouse, the trigger guard for a musket and a 4,500-year-old quartzite arrowhead. The arrowhead and radar scans suggest to archaeologists that Native Americans may have also lived at the fort, according to the Post.
Archaeologist William Kelso, who discovered the lost Jamestown fort in 1994, told The Washington Post that “St. Mary’s is sort of a sister colony” to the more famous Jamestown.