Tracy Jenkins, a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Maryland, displays artifacts found during excavation efforts in Easton, Md., as classmate Sabrina Shirazi, right, sifts through soil in hopes of finding evidence that might prove the state was home to the first free African-American community in the nation. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) EASTON, Md. (AP) — Archaeology students have been sifting through a little patch of ground on Maryland’s Eastern Shore this summer, seeking evidence that it was home to the nation’s first free African-American community. Historians say hundreds of free Blacks once lived in the area, while plantations flourished with hundreds of Black slaves not far away. The students from the University of Maryland, College Park, and Morgan State University, an HBCU, have been digging behind what is now the Women’s Club of Talbot County. The building, part of which dates to at least 1793, was home to three free non-White residents, according to the 1800 Census.