Sunday, June 7, 2015

The 3rd Week of Field School Already!!

Time flies when you're having fun and working hard! This week was intense! We saw huge thunderstorms this week and uncovered more structural remains of the Simpson House!

If you remember from last week, in shovel test 501, we began uncovering a possible brick pier on the south side of the Simpson House. This week, we began shovel test 502 over another possible brick pier and we expanded shovel test 501 to a full 1 meter by 1 meter excavation test unit in order to confirm this feature was a pier, and to more fully expose the structural feature for more documentation. Later in the week, we also expanded shovel test 502 to a full 1 meter by 1 meter excavation unit because they also had brick pier! In this new unit 153, they found two intact small jars!
Meanwhile, we opened an extension of last year's unit 138 after reinterpreting a structural brick feature, which is likely to be another pier that lines up with the rest of the piers on the south side of the Simpson House! Stay tuned next week to see what this extension yields!

Tuesday we had our friend Tristan, from the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN), in the field helping us with our systematic metal detecting survey! We set up the same grid we had been using for our remote sensing survey. Here are our students, Robert Love and Hanah Brock using the metal detecting equipment and marking positive spots with orange pin flags. What we learned is that there are many metal objects in the area!

On Friday, we returned to the adjacent private property, since the utility companies have been so diligent in marking their utility lines and we could safely be certain that our anomalies were not utilities. Previously, we began unit 150 to ground-truth a large anomaly that showed up during the remote sensing work we did during the first two weeks of field school. While we have not uncovered the source of the anomaly just yet, we found many unexpected artifacts in our screens for level 2. These artifacts consisted of numerous charred peach pits, cut iron nails, and small fragments of brick and mortar. This is good evidence that we may have the location of a domestic structure or other outbuilding that will tell us more about life at Arcadia.

Our newest student, Beth Chance, a graduate student from the University of Central Florida, joined us Thursday! We are glad to have her for the rest of the summer! Stay tuned!

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