Media Advisory: The Discovery of Zekiah Fort A 17th-Century Piscataway Indian Settlement

*Media Advisory*

 

Save the Date: Sept. 15

 

The Discovery of Zekiah Fort

A 17th-Century Piscataway Indian Settlement

 

 

WHAT: The announcement and celebration of a historical Piscataway Indian fort unearthed recently on private land just outside Waldorf, Maryland. The fort and a surrounding settlement, the focus of many previous searches for the past 80 years, is the last time the Piscataway were together as a nation. Students from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the College of Southern Maryland began the excavations last fall under the direction of St. Mary’s archaeology professor Julia King. They found flint flakes and lead shot where the fort was; and glass beads, Indian pottery and pipes, European pipes, and English ceramics where the hamlets were. “This was an intensively occupied settlement,” said King.

 

WHEN: The press is invited to the announcement of the significant discovery on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, from 1-4 p.m.; program begins at 2.

 

WHO: Governor Martin O’Malley, two state senators, and other state and local officials; members of the three Piscataway tribes; faculty, staff, and students of St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the College of Southern Maryland who made the discovery; supporters.

 

(The 90-acre site of the fort is not open to the public, but photos are available and artifacts will be on display at the event.)

 

SIGNIFICANCE: Finding the Zekiah Fort, says archaeologist Julia King, is one of the most important archaeological discoveries in the mid-Atlantic region this year. “Simply put, Piscataway history is foundational to Maryland history and yet we rarely hear about it in mainstream settings,” she says.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS: Barbara Geehan, bjgeehan@smcm.edu, 240-895-3073; Lee Capristo, lwcapristo@smcm.edu, 240-895-4795; Karen Smith Hupp, karens@csmd.edu. 301-934-7701.

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