Sunday, June 8, 2014

Weekly Progress Update

This week we continued to excavate units 125 and 126.  We also put in a unit (127) that we thought was placed over the Southeastern basement wall.  However, it now appears that this is in fact a possible brick pier that may have held up the house.  This hypothesis is based on the fact that the bricks are not articulated all the way across the unit, but instead are concentrated in a relatively square formation with some associated rubble--almost as if the pier were pushed over some time after the house burned down.  This is further supported by local accounts of the land being bulldozed sometime after hurricane Ivan.  Below is a photo of the early excavation of unit 127.  You may notice that a portion of unit 127 remains unexcavated.  This is because of the slope leading down into the basement depression, and because we are excavating 10 centimeters at a time from the highest point of the unit (in this case the Southeast corner).

Meanwhile, unit 126 continued its excavation without encountering any architectural features, which we now suspect is because the unit is where the porch of the house would have been.  This would explain the high concentration of nails mentioned in last weeks progress update.  The crew working there have not found much since last week, but have continued excavating due to a few anomalous pieces of broken glass found deeper in their unit.  Pictured below is crew member Mandy Charest standing in the unit to excavate while her partner Amanda Mikulli (crew) screens dirt from the unit for artifacts.

Unit 125 (the unit placed over the Northwest basement wall section) has proven to be the most interesting thus far.  Not only has the wall continued as the crew excavated further, but it has also produced the most burnt brick rubble, and contains a possible collapsed brick pier in its eastern wall.  In this unit alone they removed over 500 pounds of brick rubble in a single day!  Below is a picture of the basement wall that bisects unit 125.

and here is a picture of the possible collapsed brick pier in the Eastern wall of the unit.  Notice how the bricks are articulated with mortar and are oriented in the opposite direction of the wall.

Next week we will continue to excavate all three units, and possibly put in a new unit if we finish the excavation of unit 126.  Check back soon for any exciting find updates, field lab announcements, and further progress reports!

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