Thursday, August 5, 2010

Aboriginal Activity at Burch House

Hi folks!

Remember all those times we were working at Burch House and lamented the lack of aboriginal materials? Well my friends, those days are over! This past week we came across a stemmed quartzite projectile point (see image) while excavating the dark, organic layer beneath the burnt oyster shell, prompting us to investigate this stratum in an adjoining unit. Before long the screeners were finding a couple of flakes and even some aboriginal pottery! It looks like there is an aboriginal component to this's just three feet below the surface.

Each of these three sherds of aboriginal pottery (above the projectile point) is different. The one farthest to the left is cord-impressed, and at first glance appears to be sand and shell-tempered, suggesting that it may be Rappahannok. The sherd on the left is sand-tempered, and resembles Potomac Creek pottery. The one in the middle...well, we aren't sure! It appears to be sand-tempered, but with the mortar on it is difficult to see (it almost looks like a brick). We will have to do a bit more research to see what we can come up with about this one. The crew will be out next week to see what else may come out of this deposit-I think Carol may have been uncovering some sort of hearth/campfire feature.

I have to say, I wish I was going to be around to see the extent of the aboriginal material at Burch House-it seems like I am leaving just when things are getting even more interesting. This will be my last blog, save perhaps for an occasional update from Williamsburg. I wish you all the best, and will be sure to check the blog to see what's happening at Port Tobacco!

Over and out

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