c. 1750 - 1800
NAVAIR is a small dwelling site associated with the Mattapany-Sewall
plantation c. 1740-1800. Nicholas Lewis Sewall inherited the plantation
in 1722, but he was a child at the time so the land was held in trust
for him until he came of age in 1742. At that time, he constructed a new
brick dwelling, replacing the previous brick dwelling that was at least
70 years old. Shortly thereafter, the NAVAIR site was settled about a
mile away, probably by some of the slaves who labored in the Mattapany-Sewall
fields. It was abandoned and left to fall into ruin by 1800.
The planned construction of the NAVAIR Headquarters Facility
at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River prompted a Phase I survey of the
region around the NAVAIR site in 1993. Phase II and III excavations followed
in 1994 and 1995. Phase III excavations included plow zone sampling, chemical
analyses, mechanical excavation to expose subsoil, and hand excavation
of features. A hearth constructed of re-used brick flanked on either side
by sub-floor pits marked the location of the dwelling. The dimensions
of the structure remain unknown, however, because it most likely rested
on ground-laid sills which left no evidence below the plow zone. The majority
of personal items discovered at the site came from the bottommost layer
of a rectangular subfloor pit next to the hearth, Feature 16, which was
filled c. 1780-1800.
|Watts, Gordon P., and Raymond Tubby
III Archaeological Investigation of the NAVAIR Site 18ST642, Patuxent
River Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Maryland. On file at
the Maryland Historical Trust.
The NAVAIR archaeological collection is owned by the Naval District
Washington, Naval Air Station Patuxent River and curated at the
Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory.