Despite losing Tuesday to rain, on Wednesday and Thursday we welcomed six new students to our crew (picture of all students, staff, and faculty for last half of 2010 field season to right), and were treated to clear weather for continuing fieldwork. All excavation units are making slow and steady progress, though in several cases the more we uncover, the more questions we have. Students are still tracing out the nail-filled wall-trench running east-west across the central area of the site, and as yet no corners have been discovered. To the south, one of two overlapping wall-trenches discovered last year appears now to have a third intersecting wall-trench crossing one of them as well, making interpretation of the complex stratigraphy even more of a challenge. Postholes continue to be excavated in the area of the Deptford occupation at the site, some of which may be part of the same structure that produced a deep post last year. And in our new excavation area below the high terrace on which the mission rests has now been brought down to orange subsoil in one corner of the unit, and has revealed what appears to be a very large excavation pit filled with redeposited sediments from the mission period (pictured above left are Tonya Chandler and Cody Poitevint mapping these deposits). The lenses of soil within this 18th-century feature may be interpreted in a variety of ways, but one possibility being explored is that it may be associated with a barrel-well connected with the mission. Such wells are quite common in Pensacola presidios and other Spanish colonial sites from the era (and indeed persisted in the subsequent British period), so such a find would not be unexpected. More exploration will be needed to determine what this area really is.
Pictured below are Brett Briggs, Linda Geary, Stephanie Poole, and Sydney DePalma working on various phases of excavation and mapping in the area of the overlapping wall-trenches.
Joe Grinnan carefully maps newly-discovered portions of the wall-trench believed to have been part of the cavalry barracks at Mission Escambe.
Chris Dewey maps a bisection of a deep mission-period post in the middle of the Deptford-period structural remains elsewhere in this unit.
John Krebs reviews the total station for incoming students (left to right) Brett Briggs, Jesse Hamilton, Joe Grinnan, and Stephanie Poole. Sydney DePalma and Sara Smiddie in background.
Finally, in the video below is Dr. John Worth giving a lift to one of the chickens that frequent our crew lunches looking for scraps (video recorded by Cody Poitevint).