Benson-Hammond Site (18AN497)

The Benson-Hammond site (18AN497) is the archaeological remains associated with the Benson-Hammond House (AA-118), a standing 19th century house and farmstead on state-owned Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport property near Linthicum in Anne Arundel County. The house itself is a 2½ story, 6 bay by 2 bay, 19th century brick dwelling, constructed in the Greek Revival style.

The first documented archaeological work ever conducted at 18AN497 occurred in the summer of 1979 to investigate 1) the former location of the front porch prior to its reconstruction, 2) the former location of an ell addition extending from the west wall of the house, 3) the entrance to the cellar of the house, and 4) the proposed alignment of a utility trench running from the northwest corner of the house to the intersection of two nearby roads.

The next field project at 18AN497 came in 1987 on behalf of the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA). The archaeological monitoring by MGS of the new driveway and parking lot for the Benson-Hammond house in 1988 involved visual monitoring of excavation work with a Gradall. Another project was carried out in the summer of 1988 in the cellar of the Benson-Hammond House itself.

The most recent archaeological investigation carried out at the Benson-Hammond Site was an intensive Phase I and limited Phase II testing program. The 1993 project entailed the excavation of 69 shovel test pits and ten 1.514 X 1.524 m (5 X 5 ft) formal test units. Several features were identified, including post holes, an ash pit, a basin-shaped pit of unknown function, a brick rubble deposit thought to be associated with a 19th century smokehouse, rubble from a chicken coop, rubble remnants from a destroyed springhouse, the brick foundation of the springhouse, a modern utility trench, a planting hole, a possible tree root, driveway and road remnants, and unidentified features.

(Edited from the Maryland Historical Trust Synthesis Project)

References

  • Read, Esther D.
  • 1995. Intensive Phase I/Limited Phase II Archeological Testing at the Benson-Hammond House, 18AN497, Linthicum, Maryland. SHA Archeological Report No. 94.

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