Digging into Maryland's Colonial past

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Parts of Charles County's Zekiah Swamp are every bit as inhospitable as the name suggests, choked with tick-infested woods and boot-sucking wetlands.

But as archaeologists are discovering to their delight, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries Zekiah was a growth center for the young Maryland colony.

The site of a 1674 courthouse was found last summer. Excavations this month have uncovered what might be traces of the "summer house" that Gov. Charles Calvert built to dodge his political enemies. And diggers are searching for traces of Zekiah Fort, built in 1680 to resettle several hundred "friendly" Piscataway Indians.

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