The Brown’s Wharf site (18BC59) consists of a wharf, warehouses, and row house dwellings on Thames Street in the Fells Point section of Baltimore. The site contains historic deposits dating from the late 18th through the 20th centuries. A major expansion of the project area appears to have occurred in the mid-19th century.

Archaeological Investigations

Archaeological investigation on the Brown’s Wharf site was conducted by the Baltimore Center for Urban Archaeology in advance of a redevelopment project. Some modern buildings were removed from the site, then test excavations were done via mechanical trenching. Few intact archaeological deposits were located and mitigated.

Some of the unusual artifacts recovered included gunflints, spalls, and debitage made from non-local flint (probably ballast stone). The flint artifacts appear to represent some level of domestic gunflint and gunspall manufacturing. A pipe bowl molded in the form of a male head with beard, moustache, and turban was also found. Above the turban are 13 stars and the words "United States of America." Also recovered was a complete wooden barrel filled with a sticky sand/tar matrix. The barrel also contained a tin funnel, 60 menhaden fish (well preserved), and an olive green champagne bottle with a pontil base, among other finds. The fish were removed from the barrel and frozen for later trace element testing. Non-local ballast flint analysis was performed by H. Henry Ward.

Archeobotanical Studies

Twenty flotation samples of unknown volume were analyzed from Brown's Wharf by Cheryl Holt. Small quantities of seed, bone, and shell were recovered from the samples. Seed recovery was so scant as to virtually disallow intensive analysis. Of the 20 seeds which were recovered, 14 were from either weeds or non-edible plants. Fifty-five percent of the assemblage was comprised of goosegrass. Other seeds included jimsonweed, raspberry/blackberry, mulberry, pigweed, and purslane. It is unclear if these seeds were recovered in a burned or unburned state. A modern holly/winterberry berry was also recovered.


Stevens, Kristen L.
1989 An Investigation of the Archaeological Resources Associated with the Brown's Wharf Site (18BC59) on Thames Street, Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore Center for Urban Archaeology Research Series No. 28. MHT # BC 61.

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