Baltimore Heritage Kicks Off War of 1812 Archeology Dig in Patterson Park

Tours, talks, and hands-on archeology projects will afford learning experiences about Patterson Park and Baltimore in the War of 1812.

Baltimore, MD —  With high-tech ground penetrating radar and old school trowels and shovels, Baltimore Heritage is launching an archeology dig in Patterson Park to discover the remains of Baltimore’s main line of defense against the British land invasion in the War of 1812. A series of tours, talks, and hands-on archeology projects will allow kids and adults to learn about Patterson Park and Baltimore in the War of 1812, and participate in this great urban archeology project.
As Francis Scott Key famously watched the British bomb Ft. McHenry from a boat in Baltimore’s Harbor, thousands of Baltimoreans also were dug in at Patterson Park (then called Hampstead Hill) to fight against British troops who had landed at North Point and were marching to destroy the city by land. Baltimoreans of all walks of life — slaves, aristocrats, recent immigrants, men and women young and old – came together with scant time to prepare and dug a massive defensive works on Hampstead Hill. With funding from the National Park Service’s National Battlefield Protection Program, the Maryland Heritage Area Authority, and PNC Bank, the archeology investigation will look for the remains of this defensive network and anything from 1812 that the Defenders left behind.
Johns W. Hopkins, executive director of Baltimore Heritage, comments: “With 15,000 troops, dozens of cannons, and fortifications that were hurriedly erected with help from seemingly every person in the city, Baltimore’s stand against the British in Patterson Park and at Ft. McHenry was a high mark for the city. This archeology dig will go a long way in rediscovering the efforts of so many to keep Baltimore standing, and we invite the public to come to the park and participate first-hand.”
Schedule of Events
With partners the Friends of Patterson Park, the Creative Alliance, the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Baltimore Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation, the dig will include events that are free and open to the public:
March 27, 6:00 to 7:30 pm (27 S. Patterson Park Ave.)
High Tech Archeology Show and Tell
Archeologist Dr. Tim Horsley will discuss ground-penetrating radar, magnetometry and other high-tech techniques that will be used to discover the 1812 fortifications
April 26, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm (Pagoda Hill in Patterson Park)
Family oriented tours and programs about the archeology dig and the War of 1812 in conjunction with the Dia Del Nino events also occurring in the park.
May 3, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm (Pagoda Hill)
In conjunction with the Kinetic Sculpture Race, Baltimore Heritage will offer tours and talks with archeologists and historians about the War of 1812 dig. Find out what they are doing and what they are finding!
May 10, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (Pagoda Hill)
In conjunction with the Butchers Hill Flea Market, Baltimore Heritage will offer tours and talks with archeologists and historians about the War of 1812 dig. Find out what they are doing and what they are finding!
Source: Johns Hopkins, Baltimore Heritage

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