Monocacy Archeological Society

Frederick, Maryland

Chapter of the Archeological Society of Maryland
Best Farm
Public volunteers can learn how to work on local archeological dig sites throughout Maryland, here's what you need to know!

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The Monocacy Archeological Society (MAS) promotes and encourages educational programs related to the archeological heritage of Frederick County and the surrounding region.

MAS members volunteer at archeological sites and help to record and preserve archeological information that supports local research and promotes public interest in archeology.

Our Next Meeting!

Save the date!  April 8th

Bison in the East:  A Story of Pigs, People, and Pigeons by  Stephen R. Potter, Ph.D. Regional Archeologist, National Capital Region - National Park Service

After living in small numbers east of the Mississippi River for hundreds of years, perhaps longer, bison populations began to flourish in the southeastern United States sometime in the middle of the sixteenth century A.D. The bison’s reemergence east of the Mississippi River is probably due to the violent incursion through the Southeast of Hernando De Soto’s private army of 600 people and their horses, war dogs, and pigs, during 1539 to 1543. However, the principal critter which caused the subsequent cultural catastrophes and ecological changes may not be the most obvious one. After discussing the demise of the key species (people) and two outbreak populations (bison and pigeons), Dr. Potter examines the role of eastern bison in the 18th-century Anglo-American exploration and settlement of the Great Valley, Appalachian Mountains, and the lands beyond. He illustrates the life and times of the long hunters, “meat getters”, market hunters, squatters and settlers, and the part they played in the destruction of the bison in the East.

The meeting is free and open to the public and will be held in the Community Room of the C.Burr Artz Library, 100 East Patrick Street, Frederick.

For more information about the program call 301-378-0212.

March 28 - Beginning at 9:00 a.m.  Annual Workshop in Archeology.  Full program is available at, including directions to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Anne Arundel County.  Bring your own lunch as facilities in the area are limited.  Fee.

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Have you found unusual objects on your property? Our avocational and professional archeologists will examine them with you at our meetings and discuss their relevance, but keep in mind that often a pointed rock looks like an Indian arrowhead!

The Monocacy Archeological Society does not condone "Treasure Hunting" or looting archeological sites and therefore we do not place monetary value on artifacts.

Please remember that archeological data (and significance) is tied to the spatial (horizontal and vertical) relationships that artifacts and sites hold.  Removing artifacts from their provenance irreparably  loses key archeological context and may destroy all ability for associated residue or soil testing.


April 25 - ASM Spring Symposium, Howard Community College.

May 22 - June 1 - ASM field school at the Biggs Ford Site near Walkersville, Frederick County.  Look for the registration form in the ASM newsletter in April or March.  Registration is required to participate although you may visit the site without registering, but parking is a concern and you need to make arrangements in advance.


For more information about these events, watch the web sites for updates and program details.  For more information, call 301-378-0212.


Dig Deeper into Maryland Archeology!

Archeological Society of Maryland

Maryland Historical Trust Archeology

Monocacy Battlefield Slave Village at L'Heritage Plantation

Jefferson Patterson Archeological Conservation Lab and Museum

Archeology in Annapolis

Annapolis 19th Century African American Life Dig

Anne Arundel Lost Towns Project

Port Tobacco Archeological Project Blog

Historic St Mary's City Archeology

Baltimore Historic Lloyd Street Synagogue 1845 Mikveh Discovery

The Middle Woodland Period in Central Maryland

Archeology at Wye House, Talbot County 2006

Anne Arundel Pig Point Site

Charles County, Piscataway Zekiah Fort Find

State Highways Archeology

Post Mold
Recording finds
I Dig 4 U License Plate

Past Chapter Projects:

Rosenstock Site - Late Woodland village site, worked from 1979 to 1992, recently preserved by the Archeological Conservancy. It was discovered in the early twentieth century and collected by locals, it can be called the "first city" of Frederick, as village complexes were used here by Native Americans over hundreds of years and yields important insights into the connections between sites along the Potomac River and known sites further north. More Info Here

Claggett Retreat Site Field School and Swomley Artifacts Display at C Burr Artz Library, Frederick. Article and Video

Read about local Chapter Member George Evans and his archeological pursuits.

Monocacy National Battlefield, Best Farm Site

A Civil War battlefield and encampment site.  A French Caribbean family with perhaps the most slaves in the County.  A barn built unlike any other North of Louisiana.  Also native American sites.

Antietam Battlefield - Civil War

Metal detecting for artifacts on the battlefield, and the replanting of the 1860's orchard with the heirloom apple varieties that were cut to the ground by bullets during the battle.

The Search for the Lost Monocacy Log Church

Long before the clustered spires, a fabled, simple log structure served as the focal point of religious life in Frederick County.  A few clues from the reports of missionary Palantine Ministers hint at its location without any certainty.  From the old German diaries we glean a few clues and believe we have a sense of where the church may have been located, and its not where everyone seems to believe from local markers.  But ground penetrating radar yields no further proof.

Local avocational archeologist and regionally respected Chapter Member Spencer Geasey donates his archeological library to Frederick.

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