Friday, June 1, 2012

Our crew continues to make great progress as the week comes to a close.  We've already finished over half of the first phase of this summer; 18 shovel tests have been completed on the Simpson Lot! Students have been working very hard to learn digging, mapping, and documentation techniques.

Aaryn Maloney documents the Munsell
designation of the soils in a shovel test.

Three structural features have been identified thus far, including both a round and rectangular post. The last two weeks have raised many questions concerning the arrangement of structures on the site. Our 18 shovel tests have already answered quite a few of them. The hypothesized farm and agricultural areas of the site are marked by large artifacts like iron spikes and hooks. Also noteworthy are the numerous botanical materials that have been recovered, mostly peach pits and soft shelled pecans.

L: a cuprious cog
R: an iron button with the makers mark: "WISDOM"

We have a tentative hypothesis concerning the area of lower status individuals: the east third of the Simpson lot contains diagnostic artifacts such as window glass, whiteware, and iron buttons. Together, this assemblage tells us that there was likely a low-status domicile nearby. The artifacts from this eastern area of the site are less expensive and probably easier to procure than those found around the remains of Ezekial Simpson's Big House.

Finally, the area around Ezekiel Simpson's house, one of Arcadia Mill's owners, is littered with more expensive materials like porcelain buttons, imported porcelain dinner plates (found only in small fragments, of course), and delicate metal artifacts. Unfortunately this area is covered with a thick layer of modern trash including beer bottles, sewer pipes,  and the like.

Zach and Eric enjoying their day in the field (note Eric's Elvis leg).

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