Monday, July 16, 2012

The Arcadia Mill crew is winding down our field season, meticulously mapping, digging, and documenting surface and subterranean features throughout the site. So far, we have completed: forty-two 50cm x 50cm shovel tests; two 1m x 1m test units; and five 1m x 2m blocks. Our primary focus has been finding and exposing as many structural foundations as possible for Structure 1, the hypothesized slave cabin. Both 1m x 2m test units in the area have perfectly captured the southern corner piers of the cabin. 
The southeast corner pier of the slave cabin.

In addition to traditional excavation techniques, the archaeologists at Arcadia Mill have been using geophysical tools like soil resistivity and Ground Penetrating Radar. As archaeology is a destructive scientific process, these tools help to test our hypothesis without breaking ground. Next, we will process the raw data obtained through geophysical tests as we begin to solidify our theories about the Simpson Lot. 
Ramie Gougeon, Campus Survey PI, visited Arcadia
to teach students about soil resistivity

Many people in the 1800s spent little time indoors; hence, it is important to compare inside artifacts and features with those from outside. Men and women could cook, clean, socialize, clean tools, etc in their very own backyard. Test units have been placed inside and outside the cabin structure to compare soils, features, and artifacts. Together, these may help to answer questions about lifeways and foodsways at antebellum Arcadia Mill.
Key hole from the front yard of the slave cabin

Ardi the Archaeology dog, double checking our paperwork and maps.

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