Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wrapup at Mystic Springs

Colonial Frontiers students wrapped up our first phase of shovel testing at Mystic Springs at the end of last week, having dug more than 50 shovel tests at relatively close intervals along the terrace margin of the Escambia River.  We also completed a topographic map of the area tested, showing slight variations in elevation that likely played a role in human occupation on the landform.  While analysis of the artifacts found will await our fall lab class, field observations demonstrate that there was regular human occupation concentrated along higher ground near the riverside for many centuries prior to European contact in the 16th and 17th centuries.  We even found evidence of early 20th-century debris including one whole medicine bottle and several fragments.  While we have yet to find unequivocal evidence of any 18th-century Creek Indian occupation in the area we tested, there are several other locations on the same and nearby terrace locations that hold considerable promise for the location of Los Tobases, and we have acquired permission to conduct testing on some of those already, and plan to do so later this summer.

The pictures at the bottom are supplemented by some really great time-lapse photography of various aspects of our fieldwork at Mystic Springs taken by Neal Collier and edited into a short silent film just below.

And below is a short video of a bunch of students sifting the last dirt from our last shovel test on a particularly hot day.

Still shots of some of our fieldwork during the latter part of last week, and some of the artifacts found, are below.

As many hands as possible join to sift the last of the dirt.
Melissa and Michelle enjoying some cold watermelon brought by Neal.
The hard working Melody being supervised by the entire rest of the field school, watermelon in hand.
An intact medicine bottle dating to between 1915 and 1929.

A bottle neck from the same shovel test.
Prehistoric pottery, including Tucker Ridge Pinched and indefinite check stamped, possibly Wakulla or Deptford.

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