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Maryland College Awarded Grant to Study Potomac River Archaeological Sites

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St. Mary’s College of Maryland recently received a grant of $190,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for its “Colonial Encounters: The Lower Potomac River at Contact, 1500-1720 AD” project.

The grant will fund personnel to research 33 settlements—archaeological sites once occupied by English colonists, enslaved and indentured Africans, and members of the Piscataway, Mattawoman, Potobac, and Patowomeck nations—on both sides of the Potomac River in Maryland and Virginia.

A second portion of the grant will fund the expansion of the website,, a storehouse for findings and data from the research. Visitors to the site can view images of artifacts found at the various sites being studied.

“This is the 'forgotten century' of the Potomac…many people don't realize the struggles for territory taking place in this early period," associate professor of anthropology Dr. Julia King, who is leading the research, said in a release. "This is a really exciting project and we are thrilled to have this work recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

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