Finishing up the Field School
Our last week has certainly been eventful, we have all been working hard to finish up before Friday, while also having a lot of visitors come by to learn more about what we were excavating. Last Wednesday a Vacation Bible School group came to learn about Archaeology and looking at artifacts that we had found. They had a great time screening dirt and finding artifacts like nails. Today Dr. Goldstein hosted a lecture for Grandparents University so some grandparents and their grandchildren also came out to see what we were working on, some were really interested in our unit and some of the artifacts we were finding like the bone in our west wall.
While shovel skimming to get deeper we started finding a large number bricks in the northwest corner and there were a few more following the north wall. They mostly seemed to be broken fragments. There was one large, intact brick running along the middle of our eastern wall. We had to map each brick, and then pull them up while troweling so we could try and find a mark identifying who made it. We were hoping the one brick not broken would be the one to tell us, but it too had no mark. When we pulled it up, we could see another brick that was laid beside it going into the eastern wall. The intact brick and a few other pieces seem to have small breaks almost like stress fractures as if it used to support something heavy that was laid across it, one theory is that it could have to do with supporting the trolley.
We finally got to the bottom of the cement structure that could be a piece of the trolley turnaround, has told us that it is most likely not a sidewalk because of how thick it is. We are deep enough that we can see how interesting our stratigraphy is. The gravel layer seems to come out from the middle of the cement feature, suggesting that it could have been poured as a walkway or at least at the same time the feature was built. In the northwest corner near the bricks it looks like it could be connected to the gravel layer, almost like the bricks were dumped first and the gravel was poured over it. We also found a piece of glass right outside the pile of bricks near the northwest corner.
IPF came out again to help with roots in the newly opened Unit F. The roots were so thick that they actually broke the first axe they brought so someone ended up having to come back with another later in the day. Unit A found a piece of a pipe coming out of the center of the southern wall, which if it is not just a broken piece, could continue into Unit E, which also could have more pieces of our brick feature and the gravel layer. We should finish up our next level early in the morning, hoping to find out more answer about what our cement feature could be.
Author: Cooper Duda