Monday, May 24, 2010

Indian Queen Excavation: Day Six "After the Rain...."

Posted by archaeologist Janet Donlin, University of Mayland graduate and veteran of the Market Master's House excavation:

Welcome back! Hopefully you all had a nice weekend. I know I enjoyed the break from the sun and the dirt, but I’m glad to come back to work. After all the exciting things we found last week I could only imagine what would be in store for us this week. We began our second week on the job bailing rainwater that accumulated over the weekend from the units. Unfortunately, units 3 and 4 are pretty much flooded and will probably stay that way for awhile. However, this meant we got to open up some more units today! We opened up four more – units 7, 8, 9, and 10. Three are in trench 3: unit 7, which Lisa got started on, unit 9, which Zac started, and unit 10, which Molly and Mike moved to after their unit (unit 5) became too inundated with water to continue. Janet (the humble archaeologist who is writing this now) began unit 8 in trench 1. We’ve all barely scratched the surface, but we’ve already got some awesome artifacts coming out of our units.

The most exciting thing to come out of my unit today is a round brass button with an eagle crest on the front. This was found among other late 19th-century artifacts, including a lot of whiteware, which leads us to believe it may be Civil War-era, maybe even as early as the War of 1812. I’ve only gotten through one strat so far, but I’ve already come across two features—a circular pocket of yellowish sand in the center of the unit, and a concentration of oyster shells in the NW corner. Tomorrow I will begin on these features to see what information I get out of them.

In unit 7, Lisa also found a concentration of shells, but hers were clam shells. The curious thing is that her concentration is almost directly north of mine, separated by the wall between the trenches. She also found a concentration of coal ash in the SE part of her unit with a brick inside, which she plans to excavate tomorrow.

Zac is still in the 20th-century in his unit, which is directly north of unit 1. He has found a large amount of plate glass in his, and he has recently come down on some large flat stones in the eastern side of his unit. We are still waiting to see if these may be associated with the brick floor in unit 1.

Molly and Mike began unit 10, which is to the west of unit 5, their other unit. In the eastern part of their unit is a rock footing which may be a continuation of the footing found in unit 5. They also had an exciting find today. They uncovered a large fragment of flow blue ironstone that was obviously part of a large vessel, possibly with handles. They also have another large piece of ironstone waiting to be excavated.

As for our older units, Rick and Tom have finally gotten through the brick floor and the clay supporting it and are into the early 19th-century/late 18th-century in unit 1. The artifacts coming out of their unit include pieces of flow blue, transfer print, and shell-edge whiteware and pearlware. They have dated the brick floor to the second or third quarter of the 19th-century. Frank is finishing up unit 2, having hit what he believes to be subsoil. His unit is getting a little flooded as well, so we’ll all have to hope for clear skies tonight and maybe a little drainage for our flooded units.

No comments:

Post a Comment