Thursday, October 15, 2009


Despite the damp and chilly weather at Port Tobacco yesterday Carol and Calvin joined Pete, Kelley and I in finishing a third 5x5 unit in the search for the Swann site. We excavated five strata in Unit 82, starting with lightweight silty loam that was deposited relatively recently by the elements. This uppermost layer had 4.5 lbs. of oyster shell. Stratum 2 was similar, but hard packed. This layer revealed a lovely decorated clasp with the hinge intact. Stratum 3 was lighter in color and had more gravel than the previous layer. A large one cent coin and several buttons were found in this stratum. Large one cent coins were replaced by the smaller size, which is used today, in 1856.

The first three strata also had large amounts of iron, whiteware, and creamware. Stratum 4 appeared only in the southwest portion of the unit. It was mottled with light-brown organic material, which may have been part of a tree that decomposed on that spot. The layer contained a few pieces of fire-cracked rock. The last stratum was very gravelly, with brick flecks and several large brick fragments. There was also a wine bottle neck with a string rim, tin-glazed earthenware, green and blue edgeware, and pearlware. The artifacts in Stratum 5 indicate that the layer was deposited earlier than the Swann site. We finished the unit when the soil became a light yellowish-brown, very gravelly, and sterile.

After completing the unit, we dug a few STPs in the nearby field. We found a handful of items; mostly vessel glass and very small whiteware sherds. The next obstacle we tackled in that area is the mountain of stone and trash that Jim talked about in Monday’s blog. The mound is covered with thorny vines and poison ivy. No doubt it will an adventure to clear it and document the location before we even begin to excavate.

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