Hundreds of Artifacts Uncovered at Cambridge's Oldest Home - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Archaeological Dig at Cambridge's Oldest Home Uncovers Hundreds of Artifacts

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. - Historians believe the Bayly House located on Cambridge's historic High Street was built back around 1740. 

The first owner, Alexander Bayly was a physician, who had a handful of servants.

For years, historians speculated the house was also the site of a former slave dwelling. It's mostly been speculation until now.

Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration archaeologists have dug up hundreds of artifacts and now believe slaves very likely lived in the cabin behind the Bayly House.

It's hard to tell from first glance if anyone really lived inside, but Chief Archaeologist Julie Schablitsky says glass bottles and bits of broken plates are evidence the cabin may have been a home for slaves pre-American Revolution.

"This is really amazing because we're really only not even half a foot underneath the ground and this stuff is popping up immediately," Schablitsky said.

For two weeks, the archaeologists have been taking the dirt and screening it, getting some extra help Thursday from Dorchester County students.

Owner Catherine Morrison says it's history she didn't even know about.

"I'm thrilled. I'm honored. Who gets this opportunity?" Morrison said. "It's so important. We can only learn how to navigate the future by looking at what we've done in the past."

Historians believe the Bayly House sat as early as the 1700s, but the things they've found in the back, including the brick foundation of an old outhouse, show the possibility it all may have existed even earlier.

Morrison says she plans to restore the Bayly House and the cabin behind it once the archaeologists are done. Once restored, Morrison says she also plans to open up the house for private tours.

Schablitsky says they'll take all the evidence they've gathered and show it to researchers to try and confirm if slaves did live in the cabin.

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