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Changes [Nov 20, 2012]ARTIFACT ID
THE OLD HOUSE
The Old House area is the location of the earliest European settlement at Greene Farm. Family folklore and historical references note the destruction of the Greenes' original dwelling on the property during King Philip's War in 1676. Constructution on the Main House, which still stands today, began 200 meters inland from the Old House in 1690. Based on stratigraphic data and evidence from diagnostic artifacts, at least two periods of building are present at the Old Hosue site, one that dates to before King Philip's War, and a post-war reconstruction shortly thereafter.
FINDING the OLD HOUSE...
At the very beginning of the GFAP the current landowners described the history and approximate location of an Old House in the lower Hayfields of the property. Although no references to 17th century structures have been located in the archives, the landowner remembered her grandmother's stories about how she used to play in the foundations of the Old House as a child during the 1870s. According to family folklore, the visible remains of the Old House were filled in during the 1870s for safety and landscaping purposes. Due to its location in a low lying and occassionally waterlogged area of the hayfield, the area has not been plowed or cultivated for at least the past 150 years.
In 2004 the archaeologists conducted a geophysical and shovel test pit (STP) survey of the Hayfield areas, an area about 400x200 meters in size. Digging at 15 meter intervals, the archaeologists completed over 350 STPs and located several historical features. The STP area did not originally incorporate the waterlogged and lowlying areas, so the 2004 survey only located the northern edge of the Old House.
In 2005, the archaeologists focused one-third of the field season on identifying the previously discovered features in the Old House area with four 1x1m excavation units and a 10x10m GEM geophysical survey. Additional shovel test pits were excavated to aid in positioning of the 1x1 units. Of the nine STPs, two were expanded into 1x1 units and the other two 1x1 units were positioned along a geophysical survey grid’s eastern boundary. Data from the 6 excavated 1x1 units, confirmed the existence of a domestic deposit in the area. Two distinct sections of the Old House excavation area were uncovered - a midden and an architectural feature. The midden was especially artifact-rich, and contained several thousand artifacts. The area was larger in scope than originally anticipated from the geophysical and earlier STP data.
In 2006, the archaeologists dedicated half of the field season to determining the extent of the Old House area. In conducting 30 STPs at 5 meter intervals along two N-S and two E-W lines, the Old House area revealed itself to be significantly larger than expected. The STPs recovered rich deposits of architectural remains and a midden deposit that extended over an area of about 30x30 meters. In the excavation of two 2x2m units, two 1x2m units, five 1x1m units, and additional STPs, we were able to recognize at least two or three separate architectural features, one of which is a larger dwelling, and the others possible outbuildings. Within these features, we uncovered a substantial stone foundation, a smaller foundation, and considerable architectural fill. The architectural features are slightly uphill and distinct from the associated midden feature. The entire area yielded a wide range of very early historic artifacts, totalling about 10,000.
Between 2007 and 2009 we turned the entire focus of the Greene Farm excavations towards understanding the architecture of the Old House structures. Since 2007 we have excavated ten trenches, varying in size from 1x2 meters to 4x4 meters. We've uncovered several significant architectural features, including foundation walls, architectural trenches, postmolds, evidence of burning, a large pit, a well, and an outbuilding wall.