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Weeks 1 and 2: Excavation and Unit Summaries
Our first day in the field was temperature-wise perfect: not too hot and not too cold, although it was arguably a bit too buggy. We began our archaeological investigation of the John Brown House by taking a tour of the grounds. We were shown the units from last year – units 1 through 5, as well as this year’s unit locations, units 6 – 9. After a brief introduction to how the site will be run and the basic information we needed to get started, we were split into groups of three or four to start digging the different units. During week 1 we were only able to dig for about an hour or so. During week 2 we were able to dig for the entire two and a half hours, making significantly more progress.
Unit 6 is located in the far West side of the yard, towards the North end. Since unit 6 is an extension of unit 5 from last year, our first task was to remove the backfill. Digging out the 1 by 1 meter hole from last year took the entirety of the time left after the introduction to the site, but by the end of the day it was done.
This week, we used string to mark the edges of the 2 by 2 meter unit and found the levels of each of the corners from the datum point. We were then able to start digging the first context, JBH46, the topsoil layer. The digging for this context was halted right at the end of the day when we hit a new soil layer 7.5 cm below the datum point in the middle of the south side of the unit. The topsoil layer was a dark grayish brown soil while the new layer hit was a lighter yellow color and sandy in consistency. Within the context we found 3 pieces of broken bottle glass (2 brown and 1 green), a small piece of broken gray plastic, a broken piece of red brick, and a small white rim piece from the bowl of a clay pipe.
Unit 7 is located south of unit 6. It was derived from a shovel test pit dug by last year’s class. This year’s unit is a 2 by 1 meter plot encompassing the STP. We began in week 1 by removing the backfill of the STP, which though small, took the entirety of the first day to clear. However, we were able to an architectural feature at the bottom of the STP. Week 2 began with marking the unit with string and leveling the lines. We then shovel shaved the surface and troweled the exposed surface, which was impeded slightly by the copious root structures. In the first sift of context, JBH45, we were able to find plastic jewelry pieces and a dime minted in 2001.
Unit 8 is located near the house in the north-eastern corner of the yard. This unit, as well as unit 9, is in an area which is marked for a potential geothermal well, prompting our digging as a form of “rescue archaeology”. Additionally, the location for unit 8 was chosen for this year’s investigations because it was previously the location of outbuildings, such as the stables. During week 1 the time was spent marking out the 2 by 2 meter unit and measuring the levels of the corners based on the datum point. Since Unit 8 is located next to the house, it covers a considerable slope in the yard, thus making the measurements of the corners more difficult and time consuming.
We began week 2 by cutting the edges of the unit. We then started the slow process of clearing the topsoil of plant matter- the shady area was a mass of leafy vines, moss, and grasses, not to mention the rocks. Once we had removed the topsoil layer, context JBH43, we sieved the dirt with considerable success. We were able to recover several pieces of broken red brick, glass bottle pieces of various shades, white and blue pottery, pieces of orange plastic, round nails, 1 upholstery tack, 2 small pieces of duct tape, a piece of slate roof, a piece of coal, and the stem of a white clay tobacco pipe (most likely not related to the pipe bowl recovered from Unit 6). This process took up most of our time, however, we were able to reach the next soil level as determined by the soil color.
Unit 9 is a small unit, only 1 by 1 meters. It is located south of unit 8, right next to the house. Its location was chosen because of the potential geothermal well, as well as because of its proximity to the main house. The unit is smaller since its potential is unsubstantiated from other sources. During week 1, the edges of the unit were demarcated with string, and levels were taken of the different corners from the datum point. Digging began in week 2 on context JBH44. We were able to find two glass shards, one of which had a possible embossment and an imperfection, indicating that it might be older. A piece of shale was also found. The center and western-most portions of the plot consisted of hard, rocky features in close association. This, in conjunction with pieces of slate found, might indicate building materials. At the end of week 2, a new context was reached based on soil color change.
~Summaries by: Elise M. and Julie P.
Week 3 Excavation Summary
We began this week’s work by better defining the edges of our unit and neatening the sides. When that was done, we took our formal picture and video for the day. Next, we took measurements to see exactly how much digging we had done before we revealed context layer 48, a sandy yellowish soil that we gave a 10YR 4/3 on the Munsell scale. At the beginning of the day, we had dug 6.25cm in the NW corner, 6.25cm in the NE corner, 9cm in the SW corner, 7.5cm in the SE corner, and 10cm where context layer 48 was revealed.
Our main task was to work on exposing the same context throughout the rest of the unit. We weren’t necessarily paying attention to arbitrary natural context levels because we were more interested in getting the whole unit to consist of that same yellowish soil, or at least discover the extent of context JBH 48. We worked mainly with the trowels to shave the soil and occasionally we used the root cutters to remove stubborn roots and the brushes around the really gravelly areas.
By the end of the day, we were able to dig to the point where almost the whole west half of the surface consisted of loose soil with lots of rock and gravel. We’re unsure whether we’re starting to uncover the remains of some sort of pathway or if this is simply the nature of the soil. Near the SE corner, there also seems to be the remnant of some sort of brick feature emerging. Our other finds of the day included round red plastic beads, glass fragments, possible piece of tarp, a shell fragment, and pieces of a plastic drinking lid.
Unit 7 began work today in the same context as last week's work; we did not see the same soil changes here as in the other units. By the end of the day, however, we identified a new context - a gravelly layer on the West half of the unit, and worked on this unit separately to try and define the extent of it. The context we continued digging in today (JBH45) was a medium brown color, somewhat moist from the weekend rain, and fine-grained. We continued to come across the tops of the line of rocks on the West half of the unit, and proceeded trowelling around these very carefully; the new gravelly context spatially corresponds with this line of rock. As we continue excavating, we will explore this relationship.
We found several interesting artifacts at Unit 7 today. We found red earthenware with a green glaze in the NW corner, a thick, curved piece of glass in the SE corner, and a nail and a bit of white rubber in the NE corner. The sifted dirt also revealed another nail, bits of plastic, mortar, another small piece of rubber, small pieces of thin glass, and a small curved piece of rusty iron. We spent the last half hour of the day smoothing out the unit and straightening up the side walls of the unit in preparation for next week, when we will start two new contexts. The first is the gravelly context on the West side of the unit. The other will be the East half of the unit, since we have dug down about 10cm across the whole unit and it is our team's policy to start a new context every 10cm, regardless of soil change.
We began today by clearing away the remaining vegetation and tidying up the side walls of the Unit. Unit 8 was also somewhat wet today, which changes the processes of troweling and sifting. As we continued to excavate the topsoil (context JBH43), it came off in chunks, and sifting was made more difficult because there were lots of chunks that had to be pressed through the screen. Many artifacts emerged from Unit 8, the most notable being fake porcelain, a large metal nail, and an artifact that appears to be a hinge with a nail still in it. Smaller finds included brick, plastic piping, dark green and clear glass fragments, more metal and porcelain fragments, and a small round object that looks a bit like a dirt-covered walnut shell.
By the end of the day, we had reached a new context (JBH49) in unit 8. Finding a new context entailed a change of paperwork and a formal photograph, which we completed. This new context has a clayish consistency, and is mottled grey brown with orangey and greeny patches. This context began at (14, 8, 8, 17.5 cm) in the (NW, NE, SE, SW) corners of the unit respectively, and we will begin work in this new context next week.
Digging this week continued in continued throughout the new context JBH47. The dark brown soil above it was contrasted by the new mottling or speckling of the subsoil. The eastern side of the pit contained a lot of rocks. When trowelling near the western edge, we discovered a small vein of deep red soil. Overall, with the exception of the NE corner, there was a noticeable change in the soil composition around the depth of 10cm. A different type of darkening also contained in the western edge may be the beginning of a new context or just be due to decaying worms or organic material.
This week, we found whiteware porcelain, a small piece of copper sheeting, and possibly a piece of PVC pipe in the NE corner. More pieces of hand-painted porcelain and yellow and green glass were also found. We are starting to think that there is a significant possibility that we are beginning to uncover architectural remains because near the center of the pit there are large rocks and what is possibly more pieces of slate.
We’re all finding that coming to class gets more and more exciting each week, especially since we've had beautiful weather for three weeks in a row. Everyone is starting to gain some level of attachment to their unit, and by gaining familiarity with excavation work, we’re finding it easier to focus. It’s also rewarding to see remnants of features emerge; even the small finds are fun to see. Next week, we will receive a tour of the John Brown House, itself, which will certainly inform our attitudes about our units as we continue work.
This week's summary by Alyssa and Sarah
Week Four Excavation Summary
Unit Six has just started to become really exciting. The team has already dug through one context (JBH 46) and came upon another under it (JBH 52) which has a large tree root running through it and is heavily mottled with the clayey yellow-orange material found in other parts of the unit (and the site in general). Work has also begun on JBH 48, a promising, gravel feature with several bricks lining it and found inside (other finds include nails and other metal fragments, and slate which was often used in roofing tiles). The narrow strip lining the west wall, demarcated by the previous year's hole and JBH 48, originally thought to be part of 48, is now being thought of as a different context altogether (yet unnamed).
Of special interest among the finds this week were a large chunk of yelllow brick (something not found in Unit 5 last season) and a piece of lead-glazed ceramic drain pipe (a similar piece was' found the year before).
This is still conjectural, but it seems as if we are beginning to come down onto contexts older than our time (whereas last week we found plastic beads and pieces of a drink container in JBH 46, we are now finding rusted nails and bricks, in a section of the grounds which has not had construction done on it for many years).
Unit 7 is currently yielding a very complicated feature that begs for further exploration. Context JBH 51 is very gravelly (much like the strip in Unit 6, without the yellowy clay deposits) but with large jutting rocks coming up through the surface which needed to be delicately brushed, rather than scraped with a shovel or a trowel. A nail was found among the gravel near the shovel test pit, as well as a piece of mortar, a rusty metal scrap, a quartz stone, brick, and something that looks like pencil lead. Digging progressed slowly because of the large rocks arranged around the context. On the eastern side of the unit (JBH 50) a blue and white porcelin sherd was discovered towards the north side and on the opposite end, a compressed coal fragment. Otherwise digging in JBH 50 progressed as usual, seeing as the new context was merely a continuation of the original context (JBH 45) comprising 10 cm of dirt above it, having decided to declare a new context (time frame) every 10 cm even if there was no soil change.
After we noted and documented the beginning of a new context (JBH49), unfortunately there was a bit of rain between digging sessions, so much of the unit was wet and the mottled gray-brown-orange-green was almost a solid dark brown. We began by shovel shaving down a few centimeters, coming upon the original color composition of context JBH49. We noticed that there were larger rocks than we had found before at this depth, but nothing huge. We also evened out some of the walls, particularly the NE wall, which may have suffered some erosion due to the rain, since the unit is on a slight hill and the water would have carried the topsoil down the hill. We wanted to get the 2X2m unit down a few centimeters today, so we filled about five buckets full of soil, separating into one sifter, one shovel shaver, and one troweler. In this manner, we were able to sift through all the dirt that we had removed, and found a few items of interest (though not as many as on previous dates). These included additional corroded nails, glass fragments, red brick fragments, a porcelain fragment. One of the more exciting finds of the day was the location of what could eventually be our first major feature: a large rounded gray stone in the NW corner. It looks like it could possibly be part of a foundation or structure. Further excavation around said stone is necessary to make any definitive observations.
This week we continued to dig in damp mottled soil, and carved along the SE corner. There is a deeper red-brown soil present throughout the unit now with the exception of the mottled clay soil in the NW corner, where the datum point is located. We are stopping digging in the SE corner to prevent damage. We are finding larger stones through the center and NE regions of the unit, as well as small rocks from the rest. Today’s finds include pieces of white plastic, a screw, several pieces of glass, a large straight piece of wood, as well as a piece of wood exhibiting a definite corner from man made tools. We also found a yellow-orange fragment, possibly a stone or a piece of plastic.
Today, all the groups got a chance to tour through the innards of the John Brown House. Split into two sections, units 8 and 9 going first and units 6 and 7 afterward. The students were shown around the different rooms, mostly on the first floor, by Dan Santos, the Education and Visitor Services Manager of the museum. The rooms are all very distinct, some formal and some more casual, and labeled as such. Ornate original wall papers were refurbished according to a book of old samples that was found which dictated what patterns were in each room at the time of John Brown. The hand carved wooden staircase that goes up the center of the house is one of the most amazing structures, considered too ornate by Thomas Jefferson, and just fancy enough by John Brown. There are mannequins dressed in colonial attire (from the original wardrobes) placed in positions of household activities: reading, writing, playing, servants cleaning up plates and napkins, setting up tables. On the first floor, in the part of the house that was added on (originally a large kitchen), there is a presentation of the Browns’ involvement in the slave trade, as well as trade with China. In the old wood shed, of which part was converted into a boiler room, John Brown’s carriage is displayed. He was over six feet tall and about three hundred pounds, and the carriage meant for just one was driven by multiple horses. Apparently George Washington has also ridden in the carriage.
It was very interesting for us to see the inside of the house finally since we’ve been digging outside for a number of weeks. Now items that we find will have possible meanings, though we have to be careful about how much we can assume or trust initial judgments. We realize that what we are doing is actually of much importance because we are generally exploring the area behind the house where the servants (and slaves if there were any) worked daily, and there is very little mention or record of servant activities at the John Brown House in the documents.
This week's summary by Alex M and Andrew S
JBH Excavation and Unit Summaries: 10/19/09
Unit 6: In unit 6, they began digging the new context: JBH52. JBH52 has mottled yellow and orange soil, with rocks and lots of roots. Unit 6 found what may be bricks south of the hole from the original unit 5. On the boundary of unit 48, they found a ceramic electricity insulator, which they bagged with last year’s similar find. They also added the SW corner of JBH 48 to context JBH52.
Unit 7: Unit 7 continued work in its two currently open contexts (JBH50 and JBH51) this week. Work in JBH50 was primarily focused on shovel-shaving to gain the necessary depth to open a new arbitrary context, as no features or significant soil changes were detected (minus a very small mustard-yellow sand deposit in the Southern wall). Finds in JBH50 included shards of a new type of ceramics (creamware), as well as very rusty nail pieces, a small shard of blue-glazed porcelain, and more shards of black mineral presumed to be compressed coal. Work in JBH51 continued slowly, as it focused primarily on excavating the nuances of the previously described rock wall feature. Finds in JBH51 included a rusty nail (complete), and brick and mortary chunks of various sizes. Additionally, a large hole under one rock in the “wall” feature, indicating that it was separately deposited from the wall and not all rocks in the context are associated with the actual feature as it once existed but were rather deposited in situ via environmental forces. Lots of mortar pieces were discovered; however due to volume, only a few samples were saved for analysis and an executive decision was made to discard the majority of all discovered mortar in this context. In order to permit further excavation, 8 large (fist-sized) rocks were removed from the context (and ostensibly, in some cases, from the feature) and these were measured and documented appropriately.
Unit 8: Unit 8 remained in context JBH49 this week, making significant gains in depth. Green and red soil deposits and suspected quartz may indicate the upcoming opening of a new context. Darker soil deposits on the Eastern wall of the unit suggest yet another potential context. Both will require further investigation in order to determine whether new contexts are indeed necessary. Several groupings of large rocks have been detected clustered separately, suggesting potential features. Finds included more pieces of cut metal and porcelain pieces.
Unit 9: Unit 9 continued work this week in context JBH53, an arbitrary context below JBH47. The unit was flooded with approximately four inches of water when the team arrived, so water had to be bailed out before excavation could resume. The soil was still saturated, so digging had to proceed particularly carefully, especially in the area around the irrigation pipe. Finds included a large, rusted nail (or maybe a small stake), brick pieces, a piece of glass, and a piece of presumed porcelain. The team also found large rocks along the Northern and Eastern walls of the unit, but so far, they have all been ruled out as possible features (though mortar was found in close proximity).
Summary: This week was very exciting for all groups with new contexts, new discoveries and more nice fall weather. It also seems like a lot of groups are encountering a lot of rocks and roots, which can be frustrating. Other units, like 8 and 9 are discovering that rain and weather can slow progress as well. All groups are hoping to gain more depth and make some more discoveries.
"This week's summary was written by Sarah R and Ben"
Week 5 Excavation Summaries
Unit 6 began by shovel-shaving JBH 48, the gravelled bit of the unit. Here they found a piece of red brick, but it did not appear to have any major significance in the context. They also found ceramic, creamware, redware, and even delftware. As the soil started shifting in appearance a new context, JBH 54, was designated. In this new context they abandoned their shovels for trowels. As for the rest of the unit, JBH 52, they "troweled aggressively" to continue their way down, as the rain from the weekend had collapsed dirt on top of their already clean stone features. They found a piece of iron (approx. 3 x4 cm, flat) as well as a button.
Unit 7 is still (and almost perfectly) half of two contexts, JBH 51 and JBH 50. JBH 51, the one with the rock feature only has a bit of gravelly soil accompanying it. There was not much to trowel, but a nail and a ceramic porcelain shard were found- as well as more tiles. JBH 50, however, was still quite wet and soft. We managed to go down well past the 10cm designation of a context, but it was deemed okay as the soil did not have a visible change. The yellow-orange soil was still spotted throughout the eastern wall as the context changed to the new JBH 56. In JBH 50 multiple ceramic shards, obsidian-like rocks, and quartz-y rocks were found; a chunk of iron was also found as well as a pipe stem.
Unit 8 continued working on the arbitrary context level JBH 49 today. Last week was highlighted by a new, grayish soil color and mottled composition, in addition to group associations of large rocks which have not been ruled out as possibly architectural features. As was the case with the neighboring Unit 9, the test pit was extremely muddy and slightly disassociated due to the weekend rain and the slope of the terrain. Due to the wet soil, it was difficult to note any change in soil color; however, the southeast corner began to consist of noticeably darker and finer silt. This led to the consensus of beginning a new context next week. A few pieces of presumed porcelain with blue paintings on them were found, in addition to a corroded piece of iron, brick fragments and glass. The northern wall is intermittently interrupted by a rock slab which juts out towards the center of the test pit. Below this rock sits metal wire which provokes ambivalent interpretations. Further discoveries consist of a rock with bright orange paint, a fragment of pearl-ware and numerous white-ware artifacts. The promise of an underlying outbuilding is high due to the numerous finds of domestic, household objects.
Unit 9 was flooded again this week; however, not to the extent of what was encountered last week. Last week’s work ended with the uncovering of a landscaping tag which suggested sporadic backfill with little care of what was buried with the added pipeline. Continuing on the arbitrary context, JBH 53, the rocky subsurface maintained a presence—creating difficulty in keeping the unit uniformly level. There was an abundance of soft, white materials which may have been paint chips. In addition, numerous pieces of earthen red-ware, coal and charcoal were discovered which are all indicative of domestic activity in the vicinity of the house. Concluding the group of found-artifacts was a mall piece of hand-painted porcelain, a 1-in piece of pipe and a live electrical wire that extended across the unit (northwest to southeast). The latter, which was located about 3 feet further south than noted on the state preservation plans, forced the close of the unit due to the safety issues that would now hinder further excavation.
The usually horrible (for digging) weather is still holding up quite well. Though it rains on the weekend and partially floods, causes soil-slides, and muddy/damp soil we are all quite happy with the warm weather. We only have a couple more weeks left outside, so it is essential that we dig deep and fast, as we have clearly done this week. Fortunately we are all still finding artifacts and other interesting finds, and only the roots seem to be getting in our way.
*This week's summary was brought to you by Siham and Michael*
Unit 6 began the day’s excavation with two open contexts: JBH54 and JBH52. The latter, comprising approximately the eastern third of the unit, was quickly determined to have yielded few relevant artifacts over the course of excavation, and that fact combined with the quite different soil quality, which appeared to be the general overall soil of the John Brown House yard (as can be seen in Unit 7), led us to the decision that it was not a context worth exploring on the final day of excavation. We decided instead to devote our efforts to JBH54, which was yielding increasing numbers of large stones and chunks of mortar, as well as some notable finds, including a marble slab measuring approximately 20 cm by 10 cm by 3 cm thick, an L-shaped (in cross-section) iron fixture, and an iron rectangle with an included loop which seemed to be another architectural feature. As the digging continued, more yellowish sandy patches of mortar mixed in with the soil appeared, which would lead to the designation of a new context, JBH61. Along with this new context was recognized Feature 3, an assemblage of large stones forming the rough shape of a wall. As the context was excavated in greater depth, the stones were found to be quite thin and liberally stacked. Furthermore, there were more patches of mixed mortar, which appeared as sand, and frequent finds of iron pieces, chunks of brick and mortar, and even a large rectangular segment of red tile approximately 1 cm thick still bound loosely to a corresponding block of mortar approximately 1-1.5 cm thick. All of these findings together are beginning to paint a picture of Unit 6.
Unit 7 continued work on JBH56, the arbitrarily-delineated context which was opened last week, consisting of all points east of the wall, designated Feature 2 with its own context JBH59, which runs north-northwest through the unit. JBH51, to the west of the wall, was ignored. We began by shovel-shaving the context and cleaning up the eastern side of the feature. A great deal of pottery shards, rusted nails, and broken pieces of glass were found over the course of excavation of JBH56, including ceramics made of white porcelain with blue detailing. The most dramatic find of the day was a sprinkler line running east through the northern part of the unit, towards the John Brown House, approximately 30 cm deep. This is interesting because it cuts straight through the feature without disturbing the stones above the line. This may have been done using a tool that cuts through the land to lay such lines as this sprinkler pipe by a person standing on the sidewalk which lies due west of the unit and several feet below the level of the lawn. Remarkably, the wall, feature 2, remains standing as a very clear structure.
Excavations at Unit 8 were begun at 2 pm this week, due to daylight savings time and the limited remaining hours of daylight in the afternoons. Andrew and Krysta began by documenting and photographing the new context, JBH 57, which was opened last week. They began by shovel shaving in the northeastern corner to level out the unit. There was a different darker soil feature in an L-shape in the southeast corner along the walls. This darker soil was documented as a new context, JBH 58, and a formal photograph was taken. The darker soil also became the first feature found in Unit 8. It is believed that the darker soil is younger than the surrounding soil. The Munsell value of the soil (when wet) was 2.5 Y 3/1 and classified as very dark grey. The depth of the feature was approximately 12 cm and 73 and 74 cm in width and length. Significant finds in JBH58 included a nail.
While JBH 58 was being excavated, work continued in JBH 57. In the northeastern corner a black fabric material was uncovered, and upon further digging it was discovered that the fabric expanded across the majority of the unit. Beneath the fabric was gravel. Also near the southern portion of the unit an old drain pipe was uncovered, situated above the black material. A large rock was a few centimeters north of the drain pipe. Other significant finds included more porcelain fragments, along with some redware, glass and brick. Other than the drain pipe and black material, the finds were consistent with past weeks’.
The excavation of STP 3 began with the removal of the topsoil context, JBH 55. Excavators encountered many roots and found a very large root running from the North to East walls. The finds from this context included several small pieces of pottery, pieces of clear glass, large amounts of coal, and a small square of woven fabric. The Munsell reading of the soil in JBH 55 when wet was 10 YR 3/2, dark, even soil. The next context, JBH 60, was devoid of roots, but had many more rocks. The Munsell reading was 10 YR 4/3. Finds for context 60 included many pieces of pottery, some with blue and green patterns. As with context 55, there were still a large number of coal pieces. There were also large pieces of brick and pieces of glass. At the end of the excavation session the excavators were coming up on a potential new context, exhibiting much more yellow, sandy soil.
Due to the early sunset, digging began at 2 pm this week. The weather was not ideal, as excavations began in light rain and the soil was heavy from the precipitation. This week may have been our last real week of digging, depending on the weather. All the units have made significant progress and have come across interesting finds.
This week’s summary by Bridget and Laura
WEEK 7: Unit 6 Unit 6 continued to work on JBH 52 and JBH61 on the last day of excavation. The teachers and TAs arrived early to dig around Feature #3. When the students arrived they cleaned up the wall on the east side of the unit before documenting the unit for the last time with photos and a drawing of the wall. They decided to draw the wall in profile from the south to enunciate the varying levels of stratigraphy.
Unit 7 Unit 7 spent the last day cleaning up feature #2 so that there was a clear articulation of individual stones. Furthermore, they dug around the pipe running east-west through the unit and used the gridded frame to draw a detailed picture of feature #2. To finish the season the group took closing measurements before covering it all with backfill. Unit 8 Unit 8 had an eventful last day of excavation. They continued to uncover the tarp discovered last week and, in the interest of time, focused specifically on the southwest corner of the unit since the tarp appeared to extend throughout the plot. Next they documented their work and classified everything above the tarp as JBH62. When they eventually pulled back the tarp they discovered a large deposit of gray gravel and another terracotta drainpipe, like the one found a few weeks ago. Later in the day they found additional terracotta fragments.
STP 3 The group at STP 3 continued to dig up many great finds on the last day. They found fragments of brick, pottery, and glass. A few large shards of white porcelain indicated a plate had been buried at the site. In addition to coal and slate they also discovered a large brick. In a timely fashion they struck sterile soil, a light sandy composition. After sifting through the final buckets of soil from STP they documented the changes in composition with a profile of the wall.
Overall Each member of the class spent the second half of the day racing against the darkness to cover the units with backfill. We all pitched in, forming assembly lines to move a season’s worth of soil as night set in. Everyone seemed sentimental about the closing of the units but excited to begin our time in the lab.