Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Second Week of Field School

Here is to another productive week with the Acadia Mill field school. This week, we focused primarily on the private property to the east of the Simpson Lot where historical slave cabins are suspected to exist beneath the surface. While we dodged rain clouds all week, we got the opportunity to open the first unit of the field season to explore a large anomaly identified by the GPR survey last week.

Undergraduate students Hanah Brock and Kenneth Newquist were the lucky students to practice their precise excavation techniques in this unit. The photograph below shows Kenneth shovel popping the soil into a wheel barrel to be screened for artifacts.

The unit has yielded few artifacts such as a nail, an oyster shell, and carbonized wood, but additional excavation will hopefully reveal more identifiable artifacts and features.

Additional GPR survey over the entire private property revealed a buried gas line which promptly halted excavation on the unit. The utility companies were contacted and will mark the location of the lines by Monday so that we may avoid them with additional unit excavations.

In the meantime, we opened another small shovel test on the Simpson Lot on Friday, and as in many archaeological investigations, the most interesting finds are discovered on the last day of the project. The shovel test, measuring 0.5 x 0.5 meters, revealed what is believed to be remains of a brick pier which served as structural support for the Simpson House. The photograph below shows the shovel test that revealed an articulated brick and mortar feature in an "L" shaped configuration.

The small window of the shovel test only provides a limited view of the structure beneath the ground. We plan to expand the area of the shovel test to explore the feature further. We are very eager to revisit this shovel test bright and early Monday morning.

We will host Friday field labs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm every Friday in the month of June and July 10th and 17th, and as always, we encourage people to visit us in the field! Stay tuned for updates next week!

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