Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Corn cobs and visitors

Brooke Joseph carefully excavating the cob pit.
Closeup of mass of charred cobs.
Cob-marked sherd.
Today at Mission Escambe we were pleasantly surprised by the discovery of a large buried smudge pit (to generate smoke for insect control) that turned out to be filled with a jumble of largely intact charred corn cobs (see pictures above and below).  We have previously found several of these cob pits at the site, but this large example was in a unit we originally anticipated finding an extension of our stockade wall trench, and while the stockade has not appeared here, the smudge pit is good evidence for mission-period activity here, and provides yet another sample of locally-grown corn for detailed study.  Not far away, a large sherd of cob-marked pottery was found, probably made with a dried cob of this very same type of corn (perhaps even the same cobs).

Patty McMahon guides Forensic Anthropology students on site.
Norma Harris tosses a perfect shovelful of dirt.
Michelle Pigott and Kendall Burns excavating midden.
A large base sherd of 19th-century Rockingham stoneware.
Today we also hosted a number of visitors, including students from the UWF Forensic Anthropology field school, as well as Norma Harris from the UWF Archaeology Institute (pictured to left), as well as Dr. Terry Prewitt, recently-retired longtime faculty member in the UWF Anthro Dept.  Our progress is finally getting back up to speed now that the weather is back to summer norms, so we hope to have more news very soon regarding some of our primary research questions regarding the site layout and architecture.

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