Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Burch House Update!

Hi all!

So as not to make this rainy day more dreary, I thought it best to avoid doing another post on coffin hardware immediately-we'll save that for a sunny day! Instead, seeing as we are supposed to be in the field tomorrow (if the rain lets up!) I wanted to give you all an update on our Burch House activities.

The weather has not been super cooperative over the past couple of weeks, so a great deal of our Burch House work has been in the lab. We finished washing and cataloging the artifacts we have excavated so far, and Anne has made great headway on drafting some of the unit profiles to help us get a better grasp of what is going on with the stratigraphy. Pete has been super helpful keeping our paperwork in order and restocking our supplies.

While my attention has been turned to other projects this week, during the last few days in the field Elsie and I have been a post hole/mold digging duo! The crew has identified at least two post molds and a possible third, and all of them require careful excavation and mapping. Elsie is getting to be quite used to the procedure, even when it comes to holding a plumb bob to aid in mapping a mold that is 3 ft below grade!

These molds are quite an exciting find as they suggest there was an earlier earthfast structure on this site-possibly dating to the 18th century. We have not been disappointed in the artifact department either, as each shovelful of soil seems to contain a few sherds of Rhenish Stoneware, White Salt-Glazed Stoneware, and Tin-Glazed Earthenware-just what we expect to find when dealing with 18th century material. We cannot say for definite what type of structure this was, but it sure is exciting!

One of the artifacts excavated from one of the post molds is this Westerwald Stoneware stein handle with Manganese coloring. The handle has three holes in it-can you figure out why? One of my guesses was that they helped to hold a lid in place. These lids were not for decorative purposes, but for sanitary reasons, like keeping pesky insects out of your brew!

I hope to see some of you folks in the field tomorrow-let's hope the sun shows its face to dry out those units a bit! For now we do not plan to have a lab on Saturday, so tomorrow may be it for volunteer work this week!


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