Dig Day #3

By Paul Carlson and Athena Zissis

Another beautiful day at Roosevelt Park in Detroit! Our second full day of excavations on September 29th yielded much information for our team. Area 1 had a particularly exciting day with each of their three units producing exciting artifacts while Area 2 also had a productive afternoon.


Excavations of Lot 12 in Area 2

In Lot 4 of  Area 1 the team in Unit 1 expanded a 50×50 cm shovel test pit (STP) into a 1X1 m excavation unit to explore a potential feature found the previous week. When opened, they found another feature, but also possible evidence of the 2011 excavations – a wooden stake marking the boundary of the alleyway! Lot 4 took advantage of some extra help and opened a second excavation unit closer to the road (Unit 2). In doing so our volunteers exposed evidence of past burning activities. Not only was ash uncovered, but also charcoal and signs of headed rocks. Included was a broken tea cup base (see photo below). Thanks to our volunteer team for helping out with the excavation of Unit 2 in Lot 4!


Teacup base from Unit 2 in Lot 4

The most exciting find of the week for Area 1 was from Unit 1 in Lot 3; a deposit of several glass bottles was uncovered at the top of a new soil context. The most unique bottle was a small cobalt blue “Bromo Seltzer” medicine bottle dating to the 1890s.


Bromo-Seltzer bottle from Lot 3, Unit 1

Like Area 1, Area 2 has three active excavation units. Lot 10, closest to the church on Rose Street, started an STP along where they believe an old alleyway and a building stood in 1915. Due to a high yield of artifacts, predominately broken glass and building materials, they chose to expand it to a 1X1m excavation unit. Lot 11, directly to the south, hopes to be uncovering part of an old outbuilding with their 1X2m unit.


Unit 1, Lot 12 is a 1x1m excavation unit

Again further south, Lot 12 is working on a 1X1m excavation unit. This unit has been quite the puzzle for the excavators. It seems that they have found a potential posthole feature which lines up with what could also be a posthole feature in Lot 10, meaning that the alleyway had been located. They found a series of artifacts including glass, ceramics, and animal bones, but what is particularly interesting about this unit are what appears to be two distinct features. These features will be explored further next week.

Looks like next Monday will be an exciting day for everyone!