Native American Heritage

The Chesapeake Crossroads Heritage Area includes unique places that reflect our Native American Heritage, including archeological investigations that County archaeologists are working hard to interpret and share.

The Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary Complex is an ideal place to share the Native American story with heritage visitors, as it is now recognized as a highly significant and rare archaeological asset. Within a surprisingly small area, there are deeply stratified and relatively untouched archaeological sites representing 12,000 years of human occupation. Dozens of unique archaeological sites have been recorded and studied in the sanctuary and its partner properties, including the Glendening Nature Preserve and the Nature Preserve at Wayson’s Corner. These sites have yielded stone tools, decorative pottery, finely honed projectile points, and evidence of subsistence, trade, and even ancient social structures. The study of these sites provides a small but highly significant window into the rich Native American presence that dominated this area for millennia before Europeans arrived. While providing an important part of the Native American narrative, sites along the Patuxent River need to be understood in relationship to other Native American sites across the county. The densely packed heritage sites in and around Jug Bay, and along the Patuxent River, provide exciting potential for visitors, students, and citizens to explore the legacy and places where Native Americans lived for some 12,000 years.

Sites such as the Benson-Hammond House and Kuethe Library offer additional public venues for interpretation and exhibition of prehistoric artifacts, adding another means by which visitors can engage with Anne Arundel County’s Native American heritage.


Visit the attractions below to learn more and continue to check back as more online content is added.

img20221202 14482190 1

This resource is still in development. Use this link to go directly to the toolbox:

The Museum of Historic Annapolis at 99 Main Street by City Dock shares the story of the earliest people in this region before the arrival of Europeans in the 1600s.  Algonquian-speaking Native American people made seasonal camps along the Severn River. Artifacts exhibited in the Museum that illustrate this story include projectile points, a grooved axe, and pottery sherds. They provide clues to the seasonal movements and activities of these Native Americans for thousands of years in this region including fishing and hunting.  Some of the artifacts date as far back as 3000 BCE.

A new exhibit at Historic London Town and Gardens describes the native people living in the area at the time of Colonial settlement, Read more here:

In a new exhibit at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center‘s Woodlawn  History Center, artifacts tell the story of Native American use of this site as hunting and fishing grounds — as the original occupants of what is now SERC — along with the broader history of Native Americans in Maryland from pre-history through interaction with the colonists, and continued story to the present day.image004