All soils from this feature, the only one excavated in 2002, were dry-screened through ¼ inch mesh and then water-screened through window mesh.
The unusual artifacts recovered from this pit, when combined with the detailed documentary evidence available on the Smith family residency, led JPPM archaeologists to make the site the subject of the museum’s annual Public Archaeology Program.
In May 2002, the first extensive investigation of the site began.
First, 117 shovel test pits measuring approximately 30 centimeters in diameter were excavated at 8-meter intervals across the site.
All soil was screened through ¼ inch mesh, and all cultural materials were retained.
Next, seven 1.5-meter test units, and two half-units, were excavated in areas where the shovel test pits revealed artifact concentrations or buried features.
Again, all soil was screened through ¼ inch mesh, and all cultural materials were retained.However, in many cases only a 10% sample of shell, brick, and other bulk items from plowzone contexts was kept, after first being cleaned, counted, and weighed.The trash pit first uncovered in 1999 was fully excavated in 2002. It is situated today at the southern end of Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum (JPPM), on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the Patuxent River and St. Documentary evidence suggests that Richard Smith Jr. After Richard’s death in 1715, the property was inherited by his son, Walter, who in turn left it to his son, John.After John’s death in 1754, the plantation fell into the ownership of absentee landlords, and the homelot was probably abandoned.Court records from the early 1770s indicate that the Smith house and surrounding outbuildings were in ruins by that time.