Sunday, May 27, 2012

Welcome Back!

The first week of fieldwork at Arcadia Mill is complete! As some may know, we are focusing our attention on a newly acquired 3-acre tract of land that was donated by a descendant of the original mill owner.  This property once included Ezekiel Simpson's three-story Louisiana mansion-style residence, a series of slave domiciles, and other structures and features from the 19th and early 20th century such as a well, cistern, and a variety of outhouses, barns, and tool sheds.  

Pictured above is one of the potentially high-status slave cabins that UWF
archaeologists will be looking for this 2012 season.
(note the well (!) in the left background)

In addition to identifying where these structures were located, this summer’s fieldwork focuses more broadly on understanding community organization at Arcadia and the different groups of people who lived and interacted within this mill community.

Arcadia Mill's First Inaugural Shovel Test on the Simpson Lot Property!

Our goals for the summer are threefold: (1) compete a systematic survey of 50cm x 50 cm square shovel tests at a 20 meter interval across the three acre tract; (2) ground-truth results from a series of geophysical tests such as GPR, magnetometry, and soil resistivity; and (3) excavate larger blocks in areas of high artifact concentrations and areas with high potential to answering questions about the slave cabins on the Simpson Lot.

Kyle Feriend, Matt Slycord, Zach Sternand, and Tristan Harrenstein screening

Very little archaeological testing has been conducted on this 3-acre plot.  Thus, this past week was spent properly training the field crew, establishing a grid, and beginning phase one of our field season with the square shovel test survey. 

Supervisors Jenny McNiven and Eric Swanson teach undergraduate students
Zach, Aaryn, and Stanley the basics of digging and surveying techniques.

Stay tuned for more information about this summer’s exciting excavations at Arcadia Mill and upcoming volunteer opportunities!!!

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