Saturday, July 11, 2009

Foundations of Port Tobacco

In the 1800s, Port Tobacco contained over 100 buildings. In the 2000s, the same area of Port Tobacco contains just over 20 buildings. Much of the town is currently undeveloped, allowing us to excavate the areas that once contained buildings.

As I mentioned yesterday, we would like to find the foundations of as many buildings as possible so we can assess just how the few maps we have match the archaeological record. However, the foundations of Port Tobacco are not easily found. The reasons for this include recycling and agriculture.

Our excavations to date have encountered remnants of several foundations. These remnants are very thin deposits of brick rubble, mortar, plaster, and/or building stone. The bulk of these foundations have clearly been recycled for reuse in other buildings. Complete bricks and stones have certainly been removed after the demolition of the original buildings or we would be encountering more significant foundation remains.

These foundation remnants have been further modified by agriculture. The fields that we have been working in have been plowed many times through the years. Plowing breaks up the soil and anything that is in it. This further reduces the depth of our foundations and their clarity.

Below you can see all that remains of one of the two buildings we uncovered in the Indian King Hotel area, the southeast corner of the village green. Interestingly the foundation remnants here are at an angle to the village green as it exists today and as it is depicted on the late 1800s maps that we have.


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