Saturday, October 24, 2009

It is a Building

The photograph to the right shows Elsie and Carol exposing a sandstone foundation, work that will continue tomorrow (Sunday). We've cleared off the grapevines, multiflora rose, and other understory growth and have been troweling and sweeping off the remaining organic detritus and redeposited sediment from the surrounding fields.

As of Friday we had exposed two corners, one entire wall, and significant portions of two other walls. The foundation is substantial and we should have some numbers on its width and the size of the building tomorrow or Monday. We'll be working both days and, as always, all are welcome. Artifacts from the recently redeposited sediment are few, but we have recovered Chinese porcelain, pearlware, and handwrought nails, all suggestive of an early 19th-century occupation, as well as later material.

Friday we also completed Unit 81. That's Anne in the photograph to the right documenting the soil profile. The bottom of the unit appears to be muddy, but that is only because it is muddy...looks aren't always deceiving.

The units revealed what may be several episodes of local sandy gravels that were redeposited by severe storms, the eroded materials including artifacts that were on the ground upslope. The artifacts, although mixed throughout the gravelly sediments, do not appear to be eroded, suggesting that they were not moved far from where they were originally deposited. If the hypothesis is true--redeposition of local sediments and midden--then we may be able to date some of those events with the artifacts recovered from each stratum.

I'll be at the Swann site with Scott on Sunday and on site with the rest of the crew Monday. The rest of the week's schedule remains undetermined...Tuesday's weather looks questionable at this point.


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