Saturday, July 18, 2009

End of Week One

Five not-entirely-rain-free days in and things are progressing well with excavations at the Fairbanks House. One of the two test pits that were started this week has been completed and a new unit has been opened (see the updated dig map -- red units are planned, green units are in progress, and blue units are completed).

The completed unit did not turn up many artifacts, but when we finally reached subsoil (the base layer of glacial soil representing pre-historical time periods, roughly 1m below surface in this unit), we discovered our first feature: a small circular posthole (shown below outlined in blue, next to a photo of me cleaning the unit in preparation for taking photos). Because of its size, shape, and location on the property, it is hypothesized that the posthole represents a post in a fenceline. The unfortunate part of the discovery is that the unit only contained a single posthole so there is no way to know in which direction the fence runs. Due to this lack of clarity and for reasons of time, we decided against opening up other units in the area in an attempt to chase the fenceline.

The first unit that we opened up has turned up a number of 19th century artifacts including fragments of glass pharmaceutical bottles and whiteware plates. Another find of interest is what appears to be a double-sided kitchen pot hook. This hook (shown fresh from the ground) could be hung by the circular eye and would allow multiple pots to be hung. In the picture below, from top left: pot hook, fragment of blue shell-edged creamware plate, small aqua glass bottle (neck broken off), fragment of plain creamware plate, bottom of rectangular glass pharmaceutical bottle.

Despite a fearsome forecast full of thunderstorms, we're hoping to finish up the two units that are in progress next week. Stay tuned for more updates and as always, feel free to come out and visit the site Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm!

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