Today the weather did not cooperate with our excavation plans. Pouring rain filled our trenches. Luckily we laid down plastic the day before to protect the soil. For any of you who followed our Market Master's house excavation this may sound very familiar!
We decided to make the best of our time, so the crew headed to the University of Maryland archaeology lab to wash and examine our finds from yesterday. (See picture of L - R: Molly Russell, Lisa Krauss and Nichole Sorenson-Mutchie) Despite the cold wet weather and lost field time, looking over the artifacts from yesterday reignited our excitement to start digging. A close examination of the artifacts confirmed what we had hoped for the day before: the site seems to be largely intact.
Below the gravel we found artifacts from the early twentieth century including colorful printed and gilded dinner plates, liquor bottles and milk glass cold cream jars. Below that we found artifacts from the late nineteenth century including slightly more subdued plate fragments, medicine bottles, and porcelain tchotchkes (see photograph). A few inches below that we found even older ceramics, brass decorative elements that might be related to a cabinet/ coffinmaker that occupied the lot (more on that in an upcoming blog post!). Finally down at the bottom of the trench we found the kinds of ceramics that definitely identify the mid to late 18th century including white salt-glazed stoneware and scratch blue. At the moment the weather is looking up for tomorrow. We are hoping to get a great start on four test units placed along the length of our first trench, and excavate a second trench parallel with our first one. Our team will expand to a group of nine. More to come tomorrow!