Thursday, June 14, 2012

The stockade has a corner!

Danielle Dadiego showing the Feature 10 corner.
View of probable Feature 10 corner facing south.
Patty McMahon holding tape over north stockade wall.
After nearly three full years, and in our fourth field season, the 19.5+ meter-long wall trench known as Feature 10 has finally revealed what we have been searching for...a corner!  Following the trajectory of the trench eastward from the pair of in-place nails discovered last week, Danielle Dadiego uncovered what appears to be the definitive eastern end of the presumed stockade wall, where it turns abruptly south and extends into what will be the next excavation unit in this area.  Based on this new evidence, and our previous excavations along the western end of Feature 10, it appears that the western end of the stockade ;may actually may actually had no corner, and was likely still under construction when the mission village was devastated by a hurricane on August 12, 1760.  This fits documentary accounts regarding the construction project at Escambe, and it also squares with the construction sequence at Presidio San Miguel, for which two stockade walls were initially constructed three years earlier by the same Spanish engineer who designed the Escambe stockade.  At present, our evidence now suggests that the north and east stockade walls were indeed built, while the west wall (and perhaps the south?) may never have been finished before the hurricane.  Our excavations over the next few days in this area will focus on confirming the east wall of the stockade.

Pipe bowl fragment with stem attached.
Today also produced several interesting mission-period artifacts, including a European pipe bowl fragment (with stem) from a shovel test, as well as a large pinched rimfold along with a glass bead and lead shot, all from the stockade corner unit.  We also staked in a new excavation unit to the south in Area C, where we hope to trace out more evidence of the multiple overlapping structures in this area of the site.

Pinched rimsherd, glass bead, and lead shot.

Bobby Bernal laying in a new unit in Area C.

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