Dig Day #8: Final Dig Day

Allison Hebel 

As the last dig day drew near, ambitious groups trekked out early Monday morning to excavate.

The group working in Lot 15, who completely excavated their unit last Monday (October 31st), opened a new unit in Lot 16 (Area 3). Although their last unit in Lot 15 produced relatively few artifacts, their new unit turned out to have quite the surprise. They discovered an intact creamer thought to be made of white ironstone (Figures 1 and 2). It is rare to find anything intact in the field. What can this creamer say about the previous residents’ dining practices?


Figure 1: The size of the creamer


 Figure 2: An inside look at the creamer from Lot 16

The ladies of Lot 13 also began early on Monday. The pressure to make progress and finish their unit drove them. After clearing the crumbly brick and mortar debris out of the unit, the group discovered a column made of four full intact bricks and one half brick (Figure 3). The brick column is a lot smaller in terms of its width than previously imagined, but much deeper – it continues downward for at least four more bricks. What made these bricks stay intact and the ones on top disintegrate? The race to expose the depth of the column will drive them out again early next Monday.


Figure 3: Brick column in Lot 13

It was all hands on deck in Lot 7. Breaking through their thick clay layer and closing their unit was their top priority. The students’ goal was “to dig as fast as humanly possible”. To all of our excitement, they discovered a large piece of decorated wall plaster or paper! Once dried and examined this will tell us something about this house’s interior design. They plan to return early next Monday before digging closes for the season.

Team Bones in Lot 14 also made a lucky find. They discovered a tobacco pipe bowl with a partial stem attached (Figure 4). What can this pipe tell us about personal habits? This group planned to excavate to the bottom of the privy chamber discovered last week, which extends 119cm from the grass to the ground. They made a lot of progress today.   


Figure 4: The pipe bowl and stem from Lot 14

This was a day of exciting discoveries, but a bittersweet day because it is the end of the excavation season. Before we fill in our units next week, most of us will be here early racing against the clock to make our final discoveries and finish excavating. Until next time!