Monday, May 17, 2010

Indian Queen Tavern Excavation: Day 1

After a year, we're out in the field again in Bladensburg. It was a good feeling despite the rainy, cool weather we had today. Julie Schablitsky, Mike Roller, and I (Nichole Sorensen-Mutchie) spent the day monitoring the backhoe excavation of two trenches in the gravel parking lot of the George Washington House. The first trench located north of the GW House, was placed based on ground penetrating radar results. Multiple anomalies were found in that area, perhaps related to the tavern or associated kitchen, shed, and stable. After the compact gravel was removed, we found wonderfully intact deposits from the 20th, 19th, and 18th centuries. Artifacts found included oyster shell, porcelain, nails, bottle glass, and scratch blue stoneware. Three units were placed in the trench, ready to be dug tomorrow.

A second trench was dug perpendicular to the first. About twenty complete bottles were found, likely dating to the early to mid 20th century. A horse shoe was also found, perhaps associated with the stable. Trench 2 had to be filled back in because we hit the water table.
All in all, it was a very good day. We weren't sure there would be anything left from the 18th and 19th centuries and now we know that there are! Tomorrow should be exciting as we start to dig units and hopefully find features related to the tavern.

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