Friday, May 30, 2014
Earlier this week we put in a few more shovel tests around the Simpson House depression in order to get a better understanding of the soil stratigraphy outside the basement area where we plan to do most of our excavating. This is so that we can differentiate between the basement fill, and the various layers of soil around the basement structure.
More recently we have begun to clear and put in units within and around the depression. The units are 1x2 meters, and are strategically placed to capture information about the exposed basement wall, the area outside the basement, and the area within the basement.
Here you will see students clearing brush, and surface collecting rubble before they set up their units on Thursday May 29.
Shortly thereafter we took cover from the impending storm, but diligently continued working through the rain. The leftmost tent covers unit 125 which straddles a portion of the Northwest basement wall, while underneath the right tent is unit 126--an area outside of the basement, but close enough to potentially be a part of the Simpson House structure.
Today (May 30) we began the excavation of both units. Here you will see Amanda Mikuli (crew) wrestling with some tricky brick rubble as she excavates the first 10 centimeters around the basement wall in unit 125.
Meanwhile, her partner, Steven Macks (crew) pictured below, sifts the soil from the unit through a 1/8 inch tripod screen to recover artifacts. Artifacts recovered from this level of unit 125 included bricks, burnt bricks, melted glass, nails, modern trash (broken plastic and metal), and some small pieces of various historic ceramics.
Over at Unit 126, Jake Molpus, Alicia Boschen, and Kaylina “Wally” Nies (crew from left) prepare their unit by cleaning it with trowels before taking a photograph for our official records. This unit is somewhat anomalous due to the reddish clay level encountered some 8-10 centimeters below the surface. Unit 126 also contained bricks, melted glass, and historic ceramic like unit 125, but differed based on the incredibly high number of nails recovered from the Northwest quadrant.
Here is a photo of unit 126 after they finished hand cleaning it with trowels and dustpans.
That's all for now folks. Check us out next week as we begin another unit in the basement (unit 127), and delve deeper into units 125 and 126!