Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Case of the Curious Barn

As the title suggests, we've come to the conclusion that the outbuilding we are busily excavating was a barn. Quite a large barn, in fact. And an awfully curious barn. When I say curious, of course I mean that it does not seem to comply with our assumptions of a basic four-walled rectangular structure.

As a means of explanation, I offer a picture: below, Alex is excavating dirt from the cobble floor in the southeastern corner of the barn. The feature's southern wall is visible to Alex's left and its eastern wall is visible behind him and to his right. What strikes us as unexpected is the length of what looks like foundation wall running directly to Alex's right, perpendicular to the foundation wall. This line of stones is short, extending out approximately 3ft from the eastern foundation wall. At this point, we're not sure if it is the foundation of a buttress, a line of stalls, or some other architectural feature. When faced with these sorts of questions, the only thing left to do is dig! We'll place a unit over the eastern wall of the feature with the hope that if this short extension is repeated along the wall, then we'll find its further iterations.
Above: the aforementioned picture of Alex digging in the southeastern corner of the barn

The artifacts keep on coming, albeit at a somewhat slower pace. However, things got interesting today when we stumbled upon what seems to be a copper-alloy necklace constructed of small, delicate metal rings strung on a cord. Check out the picture below as the necklace emerges from the ground.

Above: copper-alloy ring necklace as it appeared in the unit

Last, but not least, enjoy a panoramic image taken of the units excavated this season from on top of our mountainous back-dirt pile. The picture is taken facing north and the 1641 house is to the back of the photographer. Click on the image for a larger version.

We've been very fortunate with the weather this week -- despite the boiling heat, there has been no sign of rain. We'll spend the rest of the week investigating the eastern wall of the structure and, time permitting, begin to explore the central portion of the barn.

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