Thursday, July 22, 2010

Trying to finish

Two more days to go, and several excavation units have already been finished and backfilled, while work continues in other areas. The long section of wall-trench exposed this year is still being carefully documented, though two units on either end of our current excavations still hold promise to provide clues about the overall size and orientation of the structure (pictured at right are Patrick Johnson and Linda Geary creating a plan view of the trench).

The two larger units being excavated down into prehistoric occupational layers are still proving to be challenging, especially given the large number of posts and other possible small pit features, several of which intrude upon each other, and some of which have turned out to be quite deep (working in the unit in the picture at left are Stephanie Poole and Amelia Easterling).

In addition, the remaining units in the area of overlapping wall-trenches are proceeding nicely, and we are finally clarifying some of the trench relationships, as well as making new discoveries within the rich midden deposit just below the clay caps in this area (pictured at right are Ben Garrett and Jesse Hamilton mapping one of these units). The pictures below will show some of the recently-discovered artifacts from our remaining excavation units, along with a video showing some of our first backfilling activity for this year.

The first image shows a handful of mission-period artifacts, including red-filmed and brushed Native American pottery, and a chipped bifacial scraping tool made from European botttle glass. Below the first image is a shot of the biface in sunlight, showing its translucent color.

Pictured below is a large sherd of prehistoric pottery from the shell-tempered Pensacola series, probably dating several hundred years before European contact. The incised and punctated designs are very similar to a large sherd found below the bluff which originally led us to conduct testing in this area in 2009.

The image below shows a different type of incised pottery found yesterday within the brick-filled trench discovered recently just north of the presumed barracks wall. It dates to the mission period, and is a local variant of the Ocmulgee Fields Incised pottery commonly associated with Creek Indians to the north.

Finally, the video below shows Jennifer Melcher, Linda Geary, Brett Briggs, and Patrick Johnson loading wheelbarrows with sifted dirt for backfilling the nearby excavation unit.

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