Students dig through Anne Arundel County history

Ruth Cooley and Alanna Craig, sixth graders at Rockbridge Academy, sift through the dirt at Tuesday's dig. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch lends a hand to students Lauren Foley and Dorothy Boswel. (Courtesy Laura Rakowski/Maryland State Highway Administration)
Some of the artifacts the kids from Rockbridge Academy found. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Ruth Cooley and Alanna Craig, sixth graders at Rockbridge Academy, sift through the dirt at Tuesday's dig. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
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CROWNSVILLE, Md. — It was blazing hot, and a group of sixth graders, some of them knee-deep in dirt, worked slowly and meticulously to uncover small bits of glass and metal. Suddenly, there was a gasp.

“Look! This is a nail head!” Two girls brightened as they picked out the artifact.

Alanna Craig and Ruth Cooley, sixth graders at Rockbridge Academy in Millersville, Md., were part of an archaeological dig in Anne Arundel County Tuesday. The two girls were on land that had once served as a vacation spot for Francis Scott Key.

They stood sifting through bits of history dating back to the days of Key’s great- grandfather, John Ross. There were beads of sweat on their foreheads as they shook a sieve filled with soil to uncover bits of metal, pottery or brick.

They’d been at work for hours, but they were having a blast.

“It’s cool to be out here and getting your hands dirty,” Craig said.

Craig added that she enjoyed handling objects that people had touched hundreds of years ago.

“When you’re actually out here and all, it kind of makes the stories that you’ve heard less clich

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