“There is much more work to be done, but archaeologists believe they may have found the site of a major Native American town on the eastern banks of the Wicomico River.

Walking the fields recently with [Scott] Strickland, Patricia Samford, member of the St. Mary’s County Historic Preservation Commission and director of the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab in Calvert County, said the archaeological evidence is “just everywhere. This is going to be a great site” when excavations begin.

“Many careers’ worth of work. This is so exciting,” she said.

The St. Mary’s County Historic Preservation Commission, contracting with Strickland, is studying the county’s archaeological sites and the potential impact of sea-level rise expected in the coming decades.

“We know there’s a lot of archaeological sites in the county,” Samford said — 935 have been recorded.

With a rise of 2 feet in tidal waters predicted by 2050, “we were concerned as a commission with trying to get a better grasp on archaeological sites in the county,” she said.

“We were worried about what we were going to lose over the next 50 to 100 years,” she said, when sea level could rise as much as 5 feet.

In reviewing St. Mary’s County’s known archaeological sites, “I found that about 10 percent of the sites would be at least 25 percent underwater or more,” Strickland said with just a 2-foot increase in sea level.”

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