Friday, September 21, 2007

September 21, 2007

It was another beautiful day for fieldwork out at Port Tobacco. We had two new volunteers, one from the Archeological Society of Maryland and one from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The site did not disappoint as we encountered archaeological deposits in all the shovel test pits (STPs) dug today. We have an interesting mix of historic ceramics, from tin-glazed earthenwares, to refined redwares, Rhenish stoneware, white salt-glaze, pearlware, creamware, whiteware, etc. (Check back on Monday for a blog entry by Peter on the ceramics of Port Tobacco.) We also uncovered more prehistoric artifacts in the form of a few quartz bifaces.

The main subject of our field hypotheses today was a compact gravel layer encountered in a handful of STPs. We debated the potential for this layer to be natural or cultural and decided it was an old road-bed...for now. It is not easy to interpret such things from the small window that a shovel test pit provides. Without knowing the extent of the layer, its directionality and starting and ending point, looking at a small 16-inch section of it provides limited data.

We will be back out in the same field tomorrow. There may be more opportunities to follow this layer and gain more confidence in the road hypothesis.


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