Posted by Mike Roller, from the University of Maryland, Department of Anthropology:
We had an interesting start to our fieldwork today. First of all, it was hot! Real hot! But we all managed to stay cool and hydrated. We are lucky to have tents to block out the sun, and shade the soil so we can see delicate soil stains easier. We had a visit from our Gradall friends from State Highways. They helped us open new trenches and set up silt fencing for our water screening operation.
Frank’s unit, picking up from where we had stopped three weeks ago, picked up the traces of more 19th century postholes, then uncovered the corner of a brick foundation. Numerous 18th century artifacts coming out of this unit suggest we may be into the earlier eras of the property’s history.
Julie and Nichole worked on the stone foundation in the east side of the site. Right now it is showing signs of the remnants of a fire in later levels, dating to the early twentieth century. We still do not know the age of the stone foundation or it’s function. Maybe the next week will shed some light.
In the western-most unit, we cleared part of the trench off to reveal an exciting architectural arrangement. It appears to be a well, possibly dating to the 19th century. It is made of mortared bricks. Unfortunately, it looks to have been filled in with paving debris sometime after the 1960’s. Removing some of it, I quickly came upon the water table. Besides the well, several other curious soils stains look interesting in this unit.
Our work went smoother today with the help of Jeremy, who volunteered to help us out with artifacts on this hot day. Thanks! Tomorrow looks to be another very warm, and exciting, day.