Sunday, June 21, 2015

WEEK 5! The Halfway Mark Is Here!

Our 5th week was hot, Hot, HOT! And the summer is promising to only get hotter! Hard to believe that the summer field season is halfway over! No awesome rain day field trips this week but  man  did the archaeology make up for that this week!

Unit 150, Feature 504 A/B,  a burned refuse pit, in the North wall before excavation.

Early in the week, the discovery of a burned refuse pit got us really excited! This pit is located in our excavation unit on the adjacent private property. This pit  predates the early 20th century Arcadia Farm, as it is truncated by the early 20th century plow zone and contains 19th century artifacts, like hand-molded glass, cut iron nails and a large cut iron spike. The most prominent inclusion in this pit was several really large oyster shells nestled together.This pit feature also included some of the best preserved burned bone ever to be found at Arcadia! Due to the size of the fragment of rib, it probably belonged to a cow or deer. This feature is really amazing because it helps us to begin understanding who lived east of the main house,whether this was an area designated for domestic slaves or later, lower income field hands.

Unit 138, Feature 472, a small brick wall, extending west into the wall of the unit.
Here is Robert Cornforth, excavating in Unit 156, the extension off Units 138 and 154.

This was the week for extending units to expose features! This week, we extended a 1 meter by 1meter unit off Unit 154 and last year's Unit 138, straddling Feature 472. We opened this new unit in order to chase  Feature 472, a small brick wall found last year, as seen in Unit 138 and  Unit 154. The goal is to uncover the west end or corner of the wall so we can better figure out the dimensions and layout of the Simpson house basement and to understand possible displacement of key features of the house when it was ultimately bulldozed in the 1990s.

Beth Chance is seen here tackling the root-y remains of a small tree in Unit 155.

The other extension we worked on this week was east of Unit 153, to capture more information about Feature 501, a remnant brick pier on the south portion of the Simpson house basement. This new unit, Unit 155, was set in to see what direction the pier may have fallen when initially bulldozed and if more of the pier remains intact. 

Also we would like to thank Janene Johnston of FPAN (Florida Public Archaeology Network) for coming out and helping us excavate! It was a pleasure as always! She worked in Unit 152, excavating level 2 and exposing more of Feature 500, a remnant pier on the south side of the Simpson house that is also related to Feature 501.

It was a great week with some awesome students! This next week will be even more interesting as these new units are excavated and new information is uncovered about these features!

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