Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Indian Queen Tavern, Day Seven: "Some Help Drying Things Out/ Time is Getting Tight!"

Posted by recent University of Maryland graduate Zac Singer:
Today (Tuesday March 25th) we continued excavations in the new units we started yesterday while Rick and Tom continued work on unit 1. Units 3, 4, and 5 were still inundated with water so we called in the big guns! The state highway’s administration brought us an industrial-sized water pump to allow us to transform units 3, 4, and 5 from bathtubs to workable, albeit very muddy, archaeological units.

Lisa tried to continue to excavate the recently drained unit 3 but found only mud. After working in unit 3 Lisa continued to excavate unit 7. She excavated 19th century deposits and a post mold. The most exciting artifacts excavated from her unit today were buttons made of bone, glass, and metal.

Julie had a bit more luck excavating unit 4 after it was drained. Battling the mud, Julie managed to uncover a brick footing. The brick footing contained some tin-glazed ceramic which suggests that the footing is from the 18th century. Another interesting aspect of the brick footing is that one of the bricks was marked with an “X” on one side.

Draining the water also allowed Mike and Molly to continue to excavate unit 5, which contains an 18th century foundation made of rock. Today they excavated a feature in the center of the unit and discovered that it was an intrusion from the 19th century. Disappointing! After excavating the feature in unit 5, Mike and Molly started an adjacent unit in order to learn more about the stone foundation. While excavating the upper levels of unit 10, Mike and Molly found a toy tea-cup from the mid 19th century.

Frank joined me in unit 9 today. Unit 9 yielded many 20th and late 19th century artifacts including a clay marble, pipe-stems, a glass insulator, and a belt buckle. Yesterday, Janet mentioned that I had come across some rocks in the Eastern third of unit 1. Today, more rocks appeared leading me to believe that there is a rock wall feature in the eastern third of unit 1. After excavating two strata, unit 1 was closed so that more help could be provided to other units.

Jenn continued to excavate unit 6. Some key artifacts found today include: a worked bone needle, a button that says “Treble Standard” on the back, and some tin-glazed earthenware. While excavating unit 6, Jenn uncovered a 19th century post-hole feature that is exactly 8 feet from the posthole feature in unit 7. Unit 6 also contains part of a 19th century structure that has been found in other units. The South West corner of the unit contains a lot of architectural debris, including brick and mortar. Charcoal and ash have been found in the southeast corner. The north half of the unit has different levels of fill. Tomorrow Jenn hopes to gain more insight into the fill in unit 6.

Janet continued excavating late 19th century deposits in unit 8. Today, she excavated two features. One feature was a thin oyster midden. The other feature was in the center of the unit and contained pockets of pure sand. This sandy feature also had an iron rod in it. Janet’s interesting finds today include lots of pearlware and some Staffordshire ceramic, an 18th century variety.

Rick and Tom continued to excavate in Unit 1. They spent most of the day excavating through early to mid 19th century deposits that included like flow blue, white ware, and some pearlware. During this time, they noticed that the artifacts located underneath the floor feature in their unit were different from the artifacts excavated outside of the floor feature. At the end of the day, Rick and Tom had excavated into a level containing artifacts from the late 18th century artifacts. Julie exclaimed “Welcome to the 18th century!” The 18th century deposits include scratch-blue stoneware sherds, creamware, and increasing amounts of pipe stems.

There is still plenty of excavating left to do tomorrow and Thursday so please wear your pajamas inside out and ask for good weather for the rest of the week!
P.S. I want to thank all of the screeners who have been screening buckets of dirt for artifacts all week. We would not be nearly as productive without your help!

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