Over the past week, CAP has been performing what is called Phase II Survey at one of the sites we discovered during our Phase I shovel test pit survey, performed the week before. During Phase II, we opened up a couple smaller units, in this case 1 x 2 meters, in order to better investigate the STPs that had cultural material. Last week, we began excavating two units. In both units we have discovered cultural material, in addition to a very uniform stratigraphy of one layer on top of another. This is indicative of most of the archaeology that we have done on campus, and indicates that the area has been heavily modified and raised, likely due to both natural flooding of the Red Cedar River and human attempts to raise the terrain to keep the flooding from being too destructive.
The place where we are located is down along Beal and Kalamazoo Street, on the North Side of the Red Cedar River. The units have produced some interesting finds, mostly construction material. A piece of wall tile indicates that it was made by the “AE Tile Co.”, which was one of the largest tile companies in the United States until it fell victim to the Depression. This find places some of the material’s usage date between the late 19th and early 20th century. Cut nails indicate it may include deposits of material used in the late 19th century. Unfortunately, it is unclear about when it was dumped. Other artifacts, such as yellow brick, may help us identify what structure the rubble was from…The President’s House, built in the 1870s, was destroyed in the 1940s was near to the area being investigated, was made of yellow brick, shown in the lower left of the unit photo. Only further investigation will help us to determine what the remains are from, and when they may have been placed there.
Author: Terry Brock