In the midst of our continuing heat wave (temperatures hovered around 100 degrees today), the crew made good progress today, pushing into the woods and all the way to the slope of the bluff overlooking the swamp bottom. Machete work from last week made it possible to sink a pair of shovel tests in and at the edge of the woods, in addition to another one nearby along the edge of the slope in the open.
We were pleased to find that two of the tests produced a number of Native American potsherds, though in both cases these pottery fragments were extremely small and eroded, with only one possible stamped design remnant, and a single rim fragment. From what we were able to tell, however, these sherds appear unlike the ones found last week in association with the glass beads, and instead probably date to the prehistoric period, probably the Woodland era, dating sometime between perhaps 1,000 and 2,500 years ago. It's impossible to say for sure with such limited evidence at present, but it appears that we have finally found evidence for prehistoric occupation in our survey area. Though it was by no means unexpected (not to have found prehistoric debris in such a prime riverside location would have been frankly surprising), it's nonetheless nice to be finding positive evidence in our shovel tests on a day with such intense heat and humidity.
Another crew spent the day mapping in new locations for tests farther south along the bluff edge, where we hope to begin excavations tomorrow.