Wednesday, June 9, 2010


The first three days of our fourth week of excavations have witnessed good progress toward our summer goals, and student crews are finally all excavating larger units in 18th-century mission deposits. Three 1 x 2m units have been opened adjacent to a 2009 excavation unit with two superimposed wall-trench structures under a clay cap layer, all dating to the mission period (pictured at right around these units are Hallie Johnson, Danielle Dadiego, Linda Geary, Allen Wilson, and Sydney DePalma), and two other 1 x 2m units have been opened on either side of a 2 x 3m excavation block excavated last year through a substantial wall trench running east-west across the heart of the site. Both these excavation areas are designed principally to trace out the size and configuration of these mission structures, and within a few days we should begin to see more evidence of these buildings.

Two other excavations have been opened to the north of the primary mission area, including a 2 x 2m unit placed near a 2009 unit with a deep posthole radiocarbon dated to the 2nd century B.C. (and filled with prehistoric pottery of the Deptford series), as well as another 2 x 2m unit around the shovel test which penetrated an isolated mission-era midden deposit with postholes below the bluff slope north of the mission. While neither of these units have yet reached their goal, both are already beginning to produce artifactual evidence (pictured at left are Linda Suzanne Borgen, Lee Ann Wayland, Mark Vadas, and Amelia Easterling).

In addition, this week we were joined on Tuesday by UWF graduate student Sarah Mitchell, who directed students in running several remote sensing scans of a 20 x 20m area around the substantial wall-trench structure noted above. As seen in the photo to the right, students have now cleared a very broad area in the once thickly-wooded heart of the site, and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and soil resistivity surveys have been conducted. While data are still being processed, a number of interesting anomalies were noted in the field, and several appear consistent in their spatial arrangement using both techniques (see video below). We have high hopes that remote sensing results may guide our excavations to the outside walls of the possible barracks structure already discovered in this area.

Heard in the video below are Sarah Mitchell and John Worth discussing the results of the ongoing GPR survey, with John Krebs and Patrick Johnson operating the unit.

Below are photos of some of the mission-era artifacts discovered on Wednesday. The first two images show both sides of a translucent honey-colored gunspall, used to fire a flintlock musket.

The image below shows a blue glass seed-bead and a tiny fragment of blue on white majolica (tin-glazed ceramic tableware, probably made in Mexico).

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