Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mapping, new artifacts, and a block of dirt

Brooke and Katie exposing the cob pit.
Today was relatively quiet, with mapping in several units, although several interesting artifacts were discovered, and the large cob pit was finally removed as well.  The video above (3:23 min) shows the painstaking process of sawing away the remaining block of dirt encasing the charred corn cobs, and carefully lifting it into a container for transport to the lab.  Detailed study of the intact cobs should provide important clues as to the origin of the corn grown and consumed at Mission Escambe.

Two halves of a broken iron table knife.
In addition, during the last two days several interesting artifacts have emerged from the new excavation unit just south of the stockade corner found last week, including an iron table knife, an iron auger, and a copper or brass rivet (pictured above and below).  While many or all of these objects may date to the 19th century sawmill occupation on site, they still provide a compelling connection with the human history at this site.

The remains of an iron auger.
Mapping was completed for the 2x2 meter unit in Area C, which as no small task given the criss-crossing wall trenches in this square.  A new unit was also opened in Area E, situated next to a previous shovel test with possible evidence of another wall trench structure and a good number of mission-era artifacts.

A copper or brass rivet.
Progress is going well in all our excavations so far, but over the next week or two we will need to begin focusing on feature excavation and data recovery in all our open units so that we can conclude our field season by the end of July.  This is when we should be delving into the most important and complex deposits at the site, gathering the information we need to interpret the site even more fully than ever before.

Kendall, Wesley, and Michelle mapping.

Danielle bends a tree out of the way for Nick.
A lizard that had unexpectedly crawled inside Michelle's shirt.

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