Photo credit: Dennis Pogue , 1982

Property Name: Mattapany-Sewall Archeological Site
Date Listed: 2/1/1985
Inventory No.: SM-358,
Location: Saufley Road, , Lexington Park, , Saint Marys County

Description: The Mattapany-Sewall archeological site (18ST390) is located on a level terrace approximately 45' above sea level, less than 1000' south of the Patuxent River in an unused wooded/grassy tract. Archeological test excavations undertaken at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station have revealed an extensive 17th century Euro-American occupation, with a less-substantial prehistoric component. Documentary evidence identifies the site as Mattapany-Sewall, a manor established in 1663 and occupied from 1666 to 1684 by Charles Calvert, colonial Governor, third Lord Baltimore, and second Lord Proprietor of Maryland. This plantation served as a governmental meeting place and colonial arsenal, and was the scene of the 1689 battle in which Maryland's Proprietary government was overthrown. Limited subsurface testing has demonstrated the presence of significant quantities of undisturbed archeological resources. The site has been impacted via construction of a hot-water pipeline, but the negative impact appears to have been relatively limited.

Significance: The Mattapany-Sewall Archeological Site is primarily significant for its associations with the Proprietary government of Maryland in the latter half of the 17th century. Documentary sources, corroborated by archeological evidence, identify the site as that of a manor established in 1663 and subsequently occupied by Charles Calvert, Colonial governor and later Third Lord Baltimore and second Lord Proprietor of Maryland. During Calvert's occupation from 1666 to 1684, the site served as a center of governmental activity and the location of a colonial arsenal. The site was the scene of the battle that has come to be known as the Protestant Revolution of 1689, in which the Proprietary government of Maryland was overthrown. Additional significance is derived from the site's potential to reveal information about the architectural, agricultural, and military practices of 17th century Maryland; documentary resources concerning these practices are scarce, and Mattapany-Sewall is the one of only 37 known archeological sites of the period in the state. Only one other site with military associations has been even partially examined in the state, and the political associations of Mattapany-Sewall are potentially unique. The site remains relatively undisturbed, retaining a high degree of integrity. Testing has also revealed a small prehistoric component, probably dating to the Archaic through Late Woodland periods.




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