Excavations at Historic Neelsville: life as a tenant blacksmith

Author(s): Robert W. Wanner; Jane I. Seiter

Year: 2016


From 2014 to 2015, excavations within the historic crossroads town of Neelsville in Montgomery County, Maryland, now a residential neighborhood, revealed a complex of features including a structure with a stone foundation. Initially identified as a blacksmith shop based on historic research, the structure was later revealed to be an adjacent domestic structure, presumably where the blacksmith and his family lived. A nearby sheet midden showed evidence of shared usage between the household, the blacksmith shop, and a school on the next property.

The interpretation of the site, a location between domestic, industrial, and even educational spaces, provided an interesting case study of the limitations of our system of classifying sites primarily by function. In the end, a landscape-based study of the entire crossroads community and the interface between these different functional spheres proved more revealing than a narrower site-based analysis focusing on smithing activity alone.

Cite this Record

Excavations at Historic Neelsville: life as a tenant blacksmith. Robert W. Wanner, Jane I. Seiter. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434261)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 648