Thursday, May 22, 2014

First Week in the Field

14B crew at Simpson Lot
The Arcadia Mill field school had a great start this week with lots of orientation and training. Students were given a tour of the site in order to understand Arcadia's historical context and how the industrial complex relates to the Simpson House. The crew consists of John Phillips (Principal Investigator/Instructor); Adrianne Sams (Project Manager/Instructor); Robert Taylor (Field Director); Llew Kinison, Katherine Sims, and Janene Johnston (Supervisors), Alicia Boschen, Mandy Charest, Steven Macks, Amanda Mikulin, Jake Molpus, and Kaylina "Wally" Nies.

Robert Taylor and Katherine Sims using total station
In addition to site orientation, the students learned about documentation through field notes and paperwork, equipment use and maintenance, and using the total station and transit. Jen Melcher, UWF Terrestrial Lab Supervisor, came out late this week to help with total station training. Three shovel tests were shot in with the total station and one yielded our first feature of the season, Fea. 450.

Possible slave cabin

Feature 450 was identified in Shovel Test 453, which was positioned between the shovel test transects from 2012. The shovel test is located within the vicinity of Structure 1 that was identified in 2012. Feature 450 consists of two large brick fragments that are likely to be associated with the piers of Structure 1 or the potential slave cabin.

Large depression marking location of basement for Simpson House

The main focus of the 2014 field season is investigating the high status Simpson House, which is located in the northeast corner of 3.05 acre parcel. The location of the house is marked by a large depression that represents a partial brick paved basement. Probing has identified several potential brick piers that the crew will investigate through shovel testing. The image below and others illustrate that the house was approximately 2.1 meters above ground and each side had seven brick piers. Stay tuned for updates about field school and what we're finding at the historic Simpson House!

South side of historic Simpson House 

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