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About This Site

Gold Cross Bottony According to the state law of Maryland (Code State Government Art., 13-203), "Only a gold cross bottony [like the one to the right] may be used as an ornament on the top of a flagstaff that carries the Maryland flag."

Throughout Exploring Maryland's Roots, you will notice this often unseen state symbol. For information on more official symbols of Maryland (including the state dinosaur!), visit the Maryland Government page.
What year did the first colonists come to Maryland?
What was the "cash" crop the colonists traded with England for goods?
What are the scientists who search for artifacts by digging called?

These are the easy questions of Maryland History. The kinds of questions you can look up in a text book or memorize to impress friends.

What was it like to leave your home and travel 4 months by sea to a New World?
What might a plantation owner say if you asked him about his crops?
What is it like to dig, uncover artifacts, and rewrite history because of your discoveries?

These are the questions that are harder to ask and answer. The questions that stretch your understanding of what history really is. The questions that beg for an expert to talk, a field trip to take, or an artifact to hold. The type of questions you wished you could explore, but didn't have the resources or connections to do so. Until now.

Welcome to Exploring Maryland's Roots, a look at life and the study of life in 17th century Maryland. The highly interactive activities on this site are based on a very simple premise: it's better if you're there. Through this site, you will be able to:
  • Explore Woodland Indian life and culture before the first colonists arrived
  • Discover the planning and perils of a journey to a new home across the Atlantic
  • Experience the trials and wonders of building a colony from scratch
  • Investigate the past with those who do it for a living - archaeologists and historians
The activities and resources on this site have been crafted specifically for 4th and 8th grade students in Maryland schools - the learners already required to explore the roots of Maryland history. The goal of this site is to help users take that all-important step in the study of history: to move from reading about the past to imagining, internalizing, and reliving life as it used to be.

In addition to these interactive experiences reviewed and refined by educators, historians, and experts, you will find lesson plans created by Maryland teachers, primary source documents, links for further research, and fun family and class activities related to early Maryland history.

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