Thursday, September 23, 2010

Market Master's backlot, Day 9, "One Day Left!"

This post is from Janet Donlin. Janet has worked on almost all of the sites here in Bladensburg, and has also done her share of artifact analysis and preparation for the project:

Tomorrow is our last day here at Market Master’s, and we have our work cut out for us. We have three units left to dig, two of which we opened up yesterday. Frank, Jen, and Courtney are about a foot into unit 18, and Rick, Molly, and Nicole are blasting their way through unit 17. There’s some good news for me and Mike in our unit…we’ve finally got a unit with some cool artifacts! Today we pulled out a bone button, the neck and mouth of a bottle with an applied lip, a fancy looking piece of iron that could possibly be part of a gun or door hardware, a pewter utensil, and a very nice piece of a bowl with a multi-chambered slip featuring horizontal tri-colored twigs and green glazed rilling. Put this all together, and it looks like we are well into the early 19th century. We’ve also recovered a lot of big chunks of bone, some of which are burnt.

Unit 17 is already into the prehistorics. The unit was opened up yesterday, and dug through pretty quickly. There was a 20th century feature in the southwest corner, and they have recovered a lot of 19th and late 18th century ceramics, but few colonial artifacts. They are finding a lot of rhyolite and some quartzite flakes, all debitage so far. It is really interesting to see which units are yielding the colonial artifacts and which are showing a strong prehistoric presence. Most of the colonial artifacts seem to be concentrated in units closest to and directly behind Market Master’s house. We have yet to find a privy, though, and it’s still a mystery to where that might be.

Unit 18 is still at a more modern level. They’ve been recovering a lot of nails, more modern ceramics and glass, and some pretty large pieces of shell edged wares. Unit 18 is right between two units that found lots of great prehistoric points and flakes, so perhaps this unit will find that as well.

We have one more day to dig and three units to finish up, but we have a lot of great archaeologists out here and we should have no problem wrapping things up. We’ve found a lot of really neat things, but I have to say my favorite is probably the little plastic dinosaur from the first day. It’s just so cute!

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