Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 9: Coming down to the wire!

Oh Gosh! We only have one more week! Time flies when you're having fun and working hard!

Week 9 of our field school is traditionally the time where we make sure that we have documented everything correctly and begin to wrap up the excavation through standard procedures of documenting the wall profiles of our units and one last map and photo of the floor of each unit. In that vein, much of week 9 was spent mapping profiles, checking paperwork, and taking many photographs. 

Early in the week, we continued to excavate the unit on private property adjacent to the Simpson Lot, Unit 150. Our goal for the week was to complete two sterile levels before beginning to clean off the walls of the unit for final documentation. By sterile levels, we mean excavating two 10 centimeter thick arbitrary layers containing no cultural material or artifacts. Arbitrary levels help us to maintain vertical control, particularly when we don't know what kind of stratigraphy we will encounter while excavating in an area. We finished excavating these sterile levels early on Thursday.
Here is the last plan view photo of Unit 150. The black material in the southwest corner is the remains of Feature 504 section A that could not be removed because of in situ artifacts in the walls.
Beth began the process of cleaning up our wall profiles for pictures and profile maps on Thursday. The fun thing about cleaning wall profiles is that we often find things we missed by centimeters, if not millimeters. In this manner, we found a kaolin pipe stem fragment and a molded clear glass candlestick fragment from Feature 504 C, a sheet midden type feature. We also found a piece of terracotta ceramic that may be a turpentine pot in the corner of the north and east walls. We were able to complete the photos of the North and East profiles on Friday. 
This is the north wall of Unit 150. The red circle indicates the terracotta ceramic fragment. 
This is the east wall of Unit 150. The white arrows indicate the red-orange clay we found in Feature 504 section E that may be associated with a compost pit. 
Meanwhile on the Simpson Lot this week, the rest of the crew was very busy!

Early in the week, we were excavating levels 3 and 4 in Unit 159 North Half to begin exposing the rest of Feature 472 section B, a brick wall of the basement. Unit 159 was staked in as a 2 meter by 1 meter unit, but we are only excavating the north half currently. The plan was to extend to the full unit if  Feature 472 section B had extended into the southern portion. Based on last Friday's GPR (ground penetrating radar) results, we expect that Feature 472 will turn west, although this feature has done none of the things we've expected it to do. Feature 472 may possibly be the covered stairway into the basement, depicted in a photograph as well as the the Simpson family oral family history. More on this next week!
Unit 159 North Half with Feature 472 section B exposed mid-level 4. 
In Unit 160 East, 1 x 1 meter, we are working slowly but steady to finish excavating what we think may be a pair of brick piers with a curtain structure like that of Units 153 and 155. We are excavating only the east 1 meter by 1 meter portion of Unit 160 because it is feared that should we open the full 1 meter by 1.5 meter unit, the proximity to Units 153 and 155 may cause instability of exposed brick features.
Unit 160 East, 1m x 1m, Level 2 Zones A, B, and C are pictures here. On the Simpson Lot, we are excavating using natural strata so each new soil color will require a new level. In this case, zones were used to indicate different soil conditions but same or similar color types.  

A surprise rainstorm may have chased us off a bit early Friday, but we were still in good spirits! 
Here's Hanah, Robert C., and Beth hustling to bring in our equipment after we were hit with a surprise rainstorm Friday! 

One more week and we are finished for Summer 2015! This coming week is going to be the busiest yet! We have more profiles to document and more brick wall features (Feature 472) to chase! Stay tuned! 

No comments:

Post a Comment