Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday results

Jim found a building. It made him happy. That's what it's all about.

Everyone went wooo when we found a 2 inch long quartz side notched point in Scott's cemetery area.

We moved Scott's team to a new area; a second Native American cluster based on our shovel test pits. There we found quite a bit of Late 1800s material in the upper areas; a woman's brooch, a decorative buckle, and a latch for a jewelry box.

It seemed like a day for clothing artifacts. In Anne's midden feature we recovered a straight pin. Another one came from Pete's area.

In Pete's area we removed 75 pounds of brick and 20 pounds of mortar from a single unit. We think we have defined an end chimney for a building there. I am still hoping to get under that demolition debris to find the source of the Native American artifacts we continue to find.

The work day was shortened by an ASM board meeting, a soils workshop, and an ASM barbeque.

Anne and the interns rescued a turtle. Then Anne challened Dan to an arm wrestling match. Clearly Anne didn't work hard enough today. Pictures and video to follow.

April M. Beisaw

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday's excavation

Today we began removing the midden in Anne's area. With the high organic and artifact content and of the feature we decided to take a soil sample and then water screen the remaining sediment. In that water screen we recovered fish scales and turtle scutes, animal remains that aren't usually recovered by traditional techniques. In that feature we also uncovered a furniture pull, the handle for a drawer.

In Pete's Native American area we finally defined that brick and mortar rubble feature from last year. During that cleanup we recovered some Wheildon Ware, an ugly ceramic type that dates to around the 1770s. From the plowzone of that area we recovered our first piece of possible colonoware, pottery made of local raw materials in a fashion that mimicks European wares.

Scott's cemetery area continued to stupify us with the numerous features and different soils. Jim and I aren't in agreement with our interpretations of that area. Tomorrow we will get to reooen last year's units in that area to better understand it.

Tomorrow is both the ASM board meeting and ASM barbeque. We will be opening a new area by Pete's Native American area and reduce our efforts in the cemetery and church areas. Cone join us if you can!

April M. Beisaw

It was a dark and stormy night

The field day was boring in comparison to the early evening's events. We had just sent one of out team members to our outdoor shower when the wind kicked up and the rain began. Several of the team jumped into a car to attempt a rescue mission. The shower tent had blown away but our people were ok. They were retrieving the shower when the hail began. They ran into a car and sat there while the rest of us listen to the weather band and it's warnings of severe storms.

Once we were all safe in the house we realized that our dinner was not cooking on the grill. The gas grill wouldn't relight.

Just then the ASM president saved the day! He arrived at Burch House with a Coleman stove.

Dinner is ready. I will blog about archaeology later.

April M. Beisaw

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Triumphs

The highlight of the day was Gabrielle Tayac's talk on Piscataway
culture. PTAP is consulting with the Piscataway in our search for the
village of Potobac.

The ASM volunteers spent a lot of time today on interpretation of
their units. They praticed their soil descriptions, feature
definition, and mapping and profile drawing skills.

We clarified the situation in the cemetery area. The gravel filled
grave shaft of last year are beginning to reappear. We need to reopen
those units from last year tomorrow.

We finished two units in the church area. Those were slowed by
intrusive rodent burrows. Tomorrow we will remove a midden feature
from that area and excavate two of the postmolds to date those features.

The Native American area was again alive with many artifacts from
multiple time periods. Tomorrow we will finish exposing the brick and
mortar feature that spans 9 units and begin sampling that.

Artifact find of the day was a wig curler.

April M. Beisaw

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Excavation report

Pete is cooking up some pasta with meat sauce for dinner. A few of us are gathered around waiting for our share.

Today's finds that we are chatting about are a jasper archaic point, a wine bottle seal with the initials GRB, and an iron handle.

Tom and Scott oversaw the excavation in the cemetery area of the site and it will take some time to figure that area out. Anne and Carol oversaw the possible church area excavation where we have a few postmolds suggestive of a fence line. Pete and Allison reopened the Native American area and are just into the plowzone there.

Tomorrow is shaping up to be a day of discovery at PT. Stay tuned.

April M. Beisaw

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday at Port Tobacco

The Heidelberg crew arrived in Port Tobacco at 6:45 pm. The long drive
from Ohio was especially long given the non-stop rain. We were
welcomed by some fresh hot pizza for dinner and a movie night at the
field session. We are watching King of California as I type. Jim and I
briefly discusse the results from the last few days of excavation and
our plans for the next few but I will wait till tomorrow to bring
those to our readers.

April M. Beisaw

Monday, May 25, 2009

Update from the field

I spoke with Pete via phone earlier today. They don't seem to have internet access until I get down there tomorrow with my trusty phone. Our conversation was brief but Pete said that they have excavated more than 15 units in the last 4 days because the site is not very deep in the area of the cemetery, church, and Swann House. They do have some postmolds by the cemetery that may be the location of the 17th century church.

I did some last minute shopping and started packing up for tomorrow's departure. I meet the interns at Heidelberg University around 9:30am and we should be underway with our 8 to 9 hour journey by 10am.

We'll get back to daily blog posts then.