Thursday, September 18, 2008

Contact Period

The Contact Period for the Chesapeake area ranges from 1608 through to the 1660’s, though these dates are open to interpretation. There was contact before and after these dates but the dates we are concerned with are those in which there is sustained contact between Native Americans and European colonists.

In our excavations this summer we found a second trade bead to go along with the one found at the Burch House last year. This second bead was found in Unit 13 Stratum 3. Several other Aboriginal artifacts were found along with it. This stratum was divided into 3 separate areas when profiled. There were a few quartz flakes, one of which looks as if it was being worked into a tool and was abandoned, as well as two pieces of Potomac Creek pottery. The other artifacts found in Unit 13 are various and stretch across from the early 18th Century to the 20th Century. There is no doubt that the ground has been mixed up. Our hope is to find a layer underneath the plowzone that indicates a large Woodland site and 17th Century artifacts to go along with the Aboriginal ones.

Unit 13 is one of the four units opened up in the Centennial Hotel area, not the Native American area. We know the Native American area brought to light a well defined Woodland occupation.
With what we have found in the Hotel area, we could have a fairly substantial Contact Period site on our hands.

Further analysis and excavation is necessary to define our Contact Period site. For now, we are continuing our overall analysis of the whole site.

More tomorrow about the Contact Period and the artifacts associated with it.

- Peter

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