Discovering more everyday

Butchered bone in west wall.

Butchered bone in west wall.

After our nail layer we were not finding much besides mortar and a few screws until we found something sticking out of our west wall.  We can tell that it is a bone, but until we are finished with out unit we have to leave it be, although I’m not sure how we will decide who gets to pull it out.  There are signs of butchering done to the bone, and because of its size and the cow scapula that was found nearby in Unit D we believe it could also be cow.

Besides the bone we were not finding much else than nails and mortar, until I felt something that felt like scraping concrete while shovel skimming near the southeast corner.  After getting a better look with the use of a trowel, we knew that we were looking at a small foundation or wall of some kind that was running along our south wall, but it was much different in material and size than the other walls found in Units A and D.  It also seems to be slightly off from true cardinal directions much like how the other wall is, although it is deeper.  Until we get down deeper we will be unable to determine what it is exactly, and we are hoping the new Unit E (courtesy of CAP grad students and interns) could help us to figure out if the walls connect or what their relation were to each other.

Cement feature running along Unit B's south wall.

Cement feature running along Unit B’s south wall.

Around the same depth as the wall we did notice a layer of gravel that was found mostly on the western side, which could have been used as a kind of filler or pathway around the time the wall or foundation was built.  When looking at the west wall near the northwest corner you can see the gravel line in the stratigraphy, it is very uneven so we are still not sure if it is natural or man-made.  If it is man-made then perhaps it will show up again in Unit E, which shares balk our unit.

Gravel layer.

Gravel layer.

Starting above the wall were 2 roots that were as thick as an arm coming out of the southwest corner running in different directions throughout our unit.  One came out of the west wall, dropped down to the depth with the wall, running alongside it into the east wall.  The other one also came out of the west wall near the same spot, but ran down and through the middle of our unit, spreading in multiple directions into the north and east walls.  Most of the roots were removed in pieces as we would get down deep enough to remove another piece.  The roots we cut turn an odd green color, we only have guesses as to what it is or if it’s related to the disease that caused the tree’s removal.  Under where a root was we also found a piece of brick near the center of our unit that leads us to believe that there is still more below for us to find.

Week 2

Unit B South Wall.

Unit B South Wall

Once we got below the dark layer that contained the bed of nails, we were no longer finding them as consistently.  It was quite a quick change from finding up to 10 nails in one screening to finding none.  The thin layer can be seen on the walls in between two layers of similar soil, so we think that someone could have spilled all those nails or dumped them there.  Today IPF came out and to help us with the roots in the southwest corner and west wall.  The roots were slowing us down because of having to dig around them, so they came and cut out them with a chainsaw.  This allowed us to fix up the walls and corners that we were having problems keeping them straight because we were unable to get completely under the root to clear our the dirt.

Clip from Unit B.

Clip from Unit B.

Although we were no longer finding nails every bucket, we were still finding new artifacts.  I found a clip of some kind, which at first I thought could also be a part of a zipper, although the piece inside seems to go along with it being a clip.  Desiree found a broken piece of glass as well, we at first thought it was melted, but after talking with Professor Goldstein, we think it could be a piece of a bigger glass object.  We found a round metal object, which we at first thought was a coin, probably a dime by the size, but it seems almost too light, so until we clean it we will be unable to determine if it is because of erosion or if it is not even a coin at all.  Another artifact we found was a type of wheel that seemed too small to be for a modern desk chair, which could have been on the bottom of a cart or some kind.

Jerica and Alex are finishing up another level, before they might call their unit sterile and move to the new one, Unit D, which was dug out of the west wall near Unit A thanks to the help of Campus Archaeology field crew.  Josh and Kayleigh are getting closer to finishing the excavation of their feature, which seems to be a pit where someone may have dumped the remnants of a fire along with some bricks and pieces of broken ones.

Disc - possibly a button or small coin. Hopefully cleaning it up in the lab will tell us more!

Disc – possibly a button or small coin. Hopefully cleaning it up in the lab will tell us more!

This week has been really hot, yesterday was not so bad because of the breeze, but this morning the humidity was pretty high and there was no breeze so everyone made sure to drink lots of water and to try and stay in the shade.  Tomorrow is supposed to be just as hot, but we will not that stop us from getting the next level done.  We have the guide holes all dug out, just need to shovel skim the level down another 10 centimeters.



Finishing up Level 1

Cooper excavating in Unit B.

Cooper excavating in Unit B.

We began with setting up our units after clearing the top layer of the entire surface.  We had some big roots in the northwest and southwest corners that we had to dig around to get the guide corners to the correct depths.  There was a layer of clay that had to be worked through while shovel skimming to get our first level even with the guide holes.

We found many rusty nails, at first they seemed randomly spread out in our unit, but once we got down a little deeper with shovel skimming the nails seem to be concentrated on the western side of our unit.  The western side has darker soil than the east, which has a layer of clay that goes deeper than the other, with the difference running almost down the middle of our unit.  We also found some pieces of broken glass in the western side.

After having gone down the first 10 centimeters below the line level line, Dr. Goldstein decided that the first level was still too shallow due to the natural slope.  We needed to go down an extra 10 centimeters in our guide holes in order to make sure the first level was even.  After working through roots and clay, we have gotten our first level almost all the way down to the correct depth and kept it level, so tomorrow we should be able to finish it up.