Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Arcadia crew completed our first phase of excavations this summer, digging 44 shovel tests in an exploratory shovel testing program. Over 20% of the 50cm x 50 cm tests contain structural features! The torrential downpour last weekend was good and bad: most of our shovel tests flooded (often because of ridiculously high ground water levels); on the other hand, many surface features revealed themselves.

Matt and Anna contemplate
excavating a unit of mud.
A semi-articulated brick pier surprised us in a final shovel test. To test if there were any more structural features hiding on the surface, a brave crew of Zach, Kyle, and Jenny began a walking survey through some treacherous secondary brush.

John Phillips directs the crew's clearing
efforts around Structure 2.

 After an hour of crawling through thorny underbrush, they announced the discovery of 8 articulated brick piers! The next few days were spent mapping, photographing, and featuring the structure.

Intense mapping underway around Structure 2.
These could be the foundations of a water tower
or a windmill. More evidence necessary, as always.
Next week we will begin to open a series of 1m x 2m test units, placed to allow us to define the age and function the features and structures in question.  We'll decide which of the features are most likely to answer or at least lend evidence to our primary research questions about the communities at Arcadia Mill.
A GIS overlay of Structure 2. The points used to make this map
were gathered using a Total Station and data collector. 

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