The project, "Colonial Encounters: The Lower Potomac River Valley at Contact, 1500-1720 AD," was generously funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding support for the project was provided by St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM); the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory (MAC Lab); The Colonial Dames of America, Chapter I; SMCM Trustee Cindy Broyles; and SMCM alumnus Mr. Philip J. Mudd.

We are indebted to project consultants Dennis Curry, Silas Hurry, Audrey J. Horning, Walter Klippel, Philip Levy, Michael Lucas, David Muraca, Dennis J. Pogue, Sara Rivers-Cofield, Patricia Samford. Marian Creveling (National Park Service), Dee DeRoche (Virginia Department of Historic Resources), Rebecca Morehouse (MAC Lab), Amy Muraca (National Park Service), Robert Sonderman (National Park Service), and Martha Williams (Archaeological Society of Virginia) very generously provided access to collections in the custody of their respective institutions.

Cary Carson, Edward Chappell, Willie Graham, Jeff Klee, and Carl Lounsbury joined us in the reexamination of the early house at the Addison Plantation. Staff from the Thomas Stone National Historic Site, including Scott Hill, allowed us to meet at their visitor center in La Plata. Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Sullivan also provided a place to meet by inviting us to use their lodge at Mount Victoria.

Francis Gray, Mario Harley, Rico Newman, Selita Proctor, Mervin Savoy, Jesse Swann, and Barry Wilson, all members of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe of Maryland, and Gabrielle Tayac, Piscataway Indian Nation, provided important support for the work undertaken at the Posey and Zekiah Fort sites and we thank them for their interest in the project.

Michael A. Smolek, Cultural Resources Manager at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, assisted with our effort to include information about sites on the Navy base. We are also grateful to Thomas Wright (Naval Support Facility Indian Head) and Julie Darsie (Naval Facilities Engineering Command) for their considerable help with preparing data for publication on this website.

The many people who excavated these sites deserve special acknowledgment. These archaeologists include Brooke Blades, Dennis Blanton, the late L. Clyde Carter, Patrick Garrow, the late James Ivor Gross, the late Edward Heite, Charles Hodges, the late Howard MacCord, John McCarthy, the late Alexander Morrison, Fraser Neiman, Stephen Potter, Billy R. Roulette, Jr., Robert L. Schuyler, Jeffrey B. Snyder, Christopher Sperling, Garry Wheeler Stone, and Jeanne Ward.

Elizabeth Arndt, our program officer at the Division of Collaborative Research at NEH, deserves special mention for her interest in and support for the project. Following Elizabeth's retirement, Jason Boffetti served as our program officer; the transition was seamless and we appreciate Dr. Boffetti's ongoing effort to follow and support our work.

Project staff deserve special acknowledgment. Julia A. King and Barbara J. Heath provided leadership for the project. Scott Strickland's expertise with GIS, Access, Surfer, and Photoshop as well as his low-key sense of humor in the "Animal House Fortress of Silence" kept the project on track. Similarly, Esther Rimer and Mary Kate Mansius cataloged thousands of artifacts, edited hundreds of images, and entered more than a million artifacts into the database. SMCM students Adam Ekwall, Leah Keller, Max Sickler, and Rebecca Webster also entered thousands of artifacts into the database. D. Brad Hatch analyzed faunal assemblages from a number of sites, and Brad and Mark Freeman assisted with writing a number of Site Summaries.

As he does for many websites, Gregory J. Brown oversaw the design and development of the Colonial Encounters website. He was assisted by Joe Brown, who developed ways to make the website user-friendly for visitors at all levels of computer expertise.

About the Project

A multi-year and multi-institution collaboration standardizing and synthesizing archaeological data for important sites in the Potomac River Valley during the period 1500-1720.

Technical Data

How we gathered and organized the data, details about the databases, information for those who want to download and work with the data.

Browse the Sites

Browse the 34 archaeological sites included in the project. These site summaries include links to images, maps, GIS data, and artifact collections.

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