AVW/Area 2/Site 8 (18BA531)
Site 18BA531, also known as AVW/ Area 2/Site 8, is mid-19th-
to early 20th-century artifact concentration located near
the Middle River area of Baltimore County.
Archival research into the ownership of Site 18BA531 failed
to reveal any clear chain-of-title for the individuals
connected to the site. The only historic document to provide
any indication of the ownership of the area is an 1877 Atlas
of Baltimore County. The map shows a house owned by John Ritter
in the approximate location of the site.
The site was first identified in 2005 during the course of a
Phase I archaeological survey for a 1,000 acre property slated
for development of a business campus. The site was identified
based on the presence of 32 historic artifacts found in 13 of 14
shovel test pits excavated during Phase I work. Diagnostic
artifacts included 1 undecorated pearlware sherd, 1 white salt-glazed
stoneware sherd, 1 other salt-glazed stoneware sherd, 9 whiteware
sherds (1 hand-painted, 1 sponged), and 2 olive bottle glass
fragments. No intact cultural features were found in the site
area. After examining the data, the site was classified as a
late 18th or early 19th-20th century artifact concentration.
Phase II work in 2005 comprised 95 shovel tests. The site was
estimated to have a dimension of 200 ft. north-south and 275
ft. east-west. The west central portion of the site had the
greatest concentration of artifacts. Based on the nature and
density of artifacts recovered, three 3 X 3 ft. test units
were excavated. Forty-one shovel tests and all three test
units produced artifacts. A total of 466 artifacts were recovered
By quantity, the recovery consisted of the following: 1 prehistoric
artifact (a fragment of quartz debitage), 413 historic artifacts,
and 52 modern items.
The Phase II data suggest a small, short-term domestic occupation
at the site. The residence was likely present between 1820 and
1920. This view was supported by the recovery of American porcelain,
yellowware, whiteware, Rockingham, opaque canning lid glass,
manganese-tinted glass, and miscellaneous modern artifacts. Based
on the quantity and nature of the earlier artifacts, the presumed
residence was thought to have been occupied for only a short period.
Presumably, the dwelling was of wood frame construction and supported
a brick chimney. The lack of intact masonry features supported this
view. The distribution of artifacts was unhelpful in pinpointing
a potential residence location. Those occupying the site were
likely farmers: members of the Ritter’s family.
The research potential of this site, however, was dramatically reduced
by the lack of soils with good stratigraphic integrity and displaced
artifact recovery. Apparently, the extensive history of agriculture
in this area dramatically impacted the yards connected with this early
residence, leaving the soil completely disturbed.
Historical Trust Synthesis Project)