Dig Day #8

By Samantha Malette and Erica Atkinson

November 3rdDig Day 8 – was the last full day that the class could devote to excavating our units. Luckily, the sun decided to shine for most of the day, and some students arrived a bit early to get a jumpstart on the day’s work, as there was a lot to do!

Fig1Paul arrives early on site to help Unit 1 Lot 3 sort out their finds.

In Area 1:

The group that finished digging Unit 2 in Lot 4 from last week dug a shovel test pit to compare the stratigraphy in the soil to what they found in Unit 2. The result? There was no noticeable ash layer in the STP, like there was in the unit, suggesting no burning happened in that area. They found artifacts that included a hinge, marble, drinking glass, and many architectural materials.

Unit 1 in Lot 4 continued to dig out the two features from last week. In the smaller feature, an animal scapula and some small ceramic pieces were recovered. After these were taken care of, the team dug down 25cm in their current context layer…finding no artifacts! The soil was an ashy gray, changing into an orangey gray.


Fig2It’s a tight squeeze for Unit 1 in Lot 4 as they dig deeper.

Unit 2 in Lot 3 was also very busy with a lot of dirt to move! In the northern half of the unit, it was a flurry of artifact recovery – exciting finds included another shoe, some medicinal bottles, and faunal remains. This supports yet again that this is, in fact, a trash dump – but could it be a filled in privy? Digging in the southern half of the unit, three small features emerged, but these didn’t end up being very interesting artifact-wise. By the end of the day, they were at a context that looked very similar to the one over in Unit 1 in Lot 4.

Image 3A hog’s jawbone, with large tusk-like teeth, recovered in Lot 3 at the beginning of the day.

In Area 2:

Today was good for Lot 10; they hit the foundation in their excavation unit. They came across a very thick ash layer. In their north half of their unit there was a thick iron deposit containing as nails and tin can remains. In the southern portion of the unit they found a concrete basement floor and a broken piece of drain pipe.

lot 10Lot 10 hits a concrete basement floor!

Lot 11 made great progress. They went to work to progress through the current context to the next clay layer that was coming up across the whole excavation unit. In Lot 11 they found glass, bone, lots of nails and mortar. In their southwest wall they found a chain that eventually fell out while cleaning out the wall.

lot 11Lot 11 after the day’s worth of excavations.

Lot 12 was having a productive day in their excavation unit. They came across a giant ceramic drainpipe that was intact. The pipe dates to the 19th century and is no longer in use. Since they are nearly done excavating their unit, the Lot 12 team found less artifacts. Near the Lot 12 excavation unit the team dug a shovel test pit in which they found very different soil layers and more architectural remains than in Unit 1.

lot 12The 19th-century drain pipe in Lot 12.

What is left to discover next week? Will Lot 3 get to the bottom of their junk pile? Stay tuned for our final day in the field– when we have to fill it all in!