Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Return to Mission Escambe

Olivia holding a foot-ring base of a Spanish majolica sherd.
Following our week of testing in search of Los Tobases, the Colonial Frontiers crew returned to our ongoing excavations at Mission Escambe, where the units we covered in week three were re-opened and resumed.  Most of our excavation units are well into the 18th-century mission-era deposits, and new discoveries are appearing daily.

Cleaned clay floor in Area E showing multicolored burned area.
In Area E, the long multi-unit Block 5 is still pushing down into the burned clay floor (pictured left) and midden deposits beneath, and the two postholes found previously along the eastern end of the easternmost unit have been bisected and their profiles are being carefully exposed in order to learn more about the potential structure wall they may have been part of.  More and more Native American pottery is appearing in this area, along with occasional fragments of colonial glass and Spanish majolica, such as part of the foot-ring base of a brimmed plato found today (see picture above).

View of mill-era trash deposit next to intact mission deposits.
Area C is still producing intriguing and unexpected results, including what appears to be at least one and possibly two east-west wall trenches, as well as another possible wall trench intersecting at a perpendicular angle, which could be either a cross-cutting trench or a long-sought-after building corner (we are hoping for the latter). The other excavation unit in Area C, located to the north, seems to have a backfilled trench or borrow pit possibly dug as part of the construction of a 19th-century railroad berm immediately to the north (running from the Molino train depot to the riverside landing at Molino Mills between 1866  and 1884), and
Chelsea and Jodi working on mill-era debris next to the railroad berm.
the debris in this trench is characteristic of the material from this era at the site, including brick fragments and railroad spikes and other rusted iron objects.  The base of this unit now exposes at the same level both the undisturbed mission-era deposits underlying the corn-cob smudge pit excavated previously, along with the basal portion of this 19th-century trench paralleling the railroad berm (see pictures above).

Area G clay cap layers and midden deposit beneath.
A new shovel test opened in what we are now calling Area G, located just to the west of the main mission area we have been focusing on, unexpectedly penetrated a gray and yellow clay floor layer just like those previously found to the south-southeast in Area C (pictured above),
Cody holding artifacts from the new shovel test in Area G
and just as was the case there, the midden deposits beneath were rich in occupational debris from the mission period, including aboriginal potsherds, gunflint chips, a case bottle fragment, a majolica sherd, a wrought iron nail (pictured right).

Below are additional pictures from our first three days back at Mission Escambe, including today's visit by the students and crew of the UWF Campus Survey field school under Dr. Ramie Gougeon.
Olivia and Nicole map a profile section in Area E before a new unit is opened to the south.

Melissa and Kristin keeping records for the western unit in Area E.

Chelsea and Jodi working on the 19th-century mill-era debris filling a trench or pit next to the railroad berm.

Ericha explains Area E excavations to the Campus Survey visitors.

No comments:

Post a Comment