Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Season Two Has Begun!

That's right, after ten months away, we've returned to the Fairbanks House for another season of excavation! This summer is sure to bring some interesting finds as we're targeting a number of features around the property, including the cobble-floored outbuilding and cellar discovered last year and a shed that once stood on the northern side of the house. Our first goal is to excavate the cobble-floored outbuilding completely to determine its size, function, and periods of use/disuse.

In order to fully explore the outbuilding, we will excavate a number of units next to one another, following the foundation and floor we uncovered last season. This method will allow us to locate the edges of the feature. Although we've only had a single full day and two half days of excavation thus far, the first unit has not disappointed. Much like the test pits from the '09 season, the unit contains a large deposit of soil that is chock full of 19th-century material, including ceramic sherds, nails, and glass. Also consistent with our previous excavations is the oddly high number of buttons recovered from the area. So far, approximately 15 buttons have been found in our single 2x2m unit -- brass gilt buttons, porcelain buttons, faceted glass buttons, and iron buttons.

Also of interest was a deposit of hundreds of thin brown glass fragments discovered today in one corner of our unit. The pieces come from a large number of glass bottles with thin circular necks and rounded, not flat, bottoms. Judging by the number of bottle necks found, the deposit contains at least 30 bottles, and maybe more. Over the course of the week, we will continue excavating this unit, hopefully reach the cobble-floor, and in the process, reveal more of the foundation line. Stay tuned for more!

Above: Alex removes topsoil from the first unit of the season

Below: A bottle neck peeks out from the dirt (left); China, Brittany, and Alex hard at work (right)

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