The location of the original St. Mary’s Fort, the first permanent settlement established by European colonists in what eventually became Maryland, has finally been uncovered by archaeologists, the Washington Post reports.
According to the newspaper, the outlines of the palisaded fort, built in 1634, were found using ground-penetrating radar.
“This is our moment,” said Maryland archaeologist Travis Parno. “This is the earliest colonial archaeological site in Maryland. This is it.”
The scans performed by archaeological geophysicist Tim Horsley reportedly revealed “the imprint of post holes that formed a large rectangle with a semicircular bastion at one corner,” as well as evidence of what might’ve been dwellings inside the fort, “including several that may have been Native American.”
A subsequent excavation at the site unearthed evidence of a brick cellar and artefacts such as a musket's trigger guard and a quartzite arrowhead “4,500 years old.”
“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,” Governor Larry Hogan said as quoted by TheBayNet.com. “The state has been proud to support the study of St. Mary’s Fort and looks forward to further excavation of the area as we approach our state’s 400th anniversary.”
As the newspaper points out, archaeologists have been searching for the fort since the 1930s.