Thursday, August 13, 2009

Week 5 Update

As I write this blog entry in the oddly freezing cold archaeology lab, I can look out the windows at the rain pounding the building's A/C unit. Another day, another rain shower.

Since finishing up the outbuilding feature near the house for the season, we've moved back to our subterranean feature by the driveway. This week has been spent working on two units placed adjacent to the three existing units in this area (see the updated dig map below). We've also added a unit west of the original driveway line as another check on the local stratigraphy. The new unit was placed just west of our second test pit in which we found an historic posthole.

Above: Updated dig map (green units are in progress, blue units are finished, and orange units are finished for this season)

The two units placed in the area of the underground feature have proved very exciting. Beginning approximately 40cm below surface, we revealed a line of large stones running SE to NW through both units (see below). As we continued to dig down, it appears that there is a second course of stones under the first, a find that supports the hypothesis that these stones represent a wall in the subterranean feature. Our goal now is to continue digging on the east side of this line of stones down to the current depth of the first three units in this area. We'll only dig on the east side in an effort to preserve the structural integrity of the stones just in case they do actually form a wall. Once we've excavated down through the final level of ashy furnace deposit throughout the feature, we'll keep digging in all five units and hopefully discover the floor surface of this exciting structure.

Above: LEFT - overhead view of the top of the potential stone wall; RIGHT - view showing the five in-progress units dug into the subterranean feature

With only five digging days left (excluding our last day which will be spent backfilling our feature units), there's still a lot of work to be done to finish up the feature units and the extra test pit. Keep an eye on the blog next week as we come down to what may be the floor of our feature!

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