Week 6

 

Two groups set out to continue the excavation work begun last week. Both teams made a great deal of progress, deepening the trenches by several inches, collecting a variety of significant artifacts, and discovering a hidden feature which appears to date from the area of study. The excavators began the work day using the practices of shovel shaving, which entails removing a single layer of earth by skimming a shovel over the surface of a trench, and troweling, which follows a similar practice with a smaller implement allowing for more detailed work. Dirt removed from the trenches was transferred to buckets and carefully sifted to ensure no artifacts were overlooked during the initial dig.

 

Trench Two, which covers a portion of the rubble heap and the area next to it, collected a variety of building materials in keeping with what is visible in the heap itself. Of particular interest were several bricks, small shards of glass and ceramic, and a long wire. All of these discoveries continue to point to this spot as a area of disposal for materials after Pine Hill Village’s dismantling. At Trench One, which entails the area surrounding the fire hydrant, there were several unexpected uncoverings. About two inches from the original surface, we found the first of many large glass pieces.

The glass is quite thick, and much of it has a decorated edge which may help in future reconstruction. At this time, it appears that these various shards come from either a single or a set of window panes; we know that Pine Hill Village houses had arctic glass windows. We are very much looking forward to studying these artifacts more closely!

 

In another context of the trench, the area to the south of the pipes which divide the trench in two halves,

the team found an unexpected feature:  a section of an apparent flagstone path.

Set about three inches below the surface of the ground, the path appears to connect one area of the Village to the main asphalt road which has been in evidence in both our survey and excavations. Further digging in the northern context unveiled  another flagstone of the some composition and leading in the same direction. We conclude from this that extending the trench in line with the three uncovered features would find similar flagstones and may help further our understanding of the exact placement and layout of the Village.

 

As for completing the survey universe, a small group of us added the last row on the most southwest portion. When examining where to put our points, a few of the points from the last classes were slightly off which we were tasked to fixing. From true north, we had to measure 315 degrees in order to orient the length of a survey grid; in order to orient the width, we measured 225 degrees. So, doing that for the last row, we found ourselves deep on the side of the hill behind Goodhue in between the pines that perhaps born the name of Pine Hill Village. Not new to us, the 100 meter row was marked with tape every 10 meters. These 10×10 squares were the last 10 grid squares that were to be surveyed.

 

As we put down that last row, the surveyors began to finish the survey and take down the string that had marked the survey universe. This deconstruction indicates that our archaeological work is coming to a close and that we can now move onwards in analyzing what we have found.

 

Three groups of two people were assigned to do test shovel pits. These test shovel pits are relatively small holes that are a couple feet deep. Alex had designated 3 original spots that when overlayed onto the map of Pine Hill Village were 3 points in which there may have once been a building or patio. They were mostly in the center of survey squares on the northwest portion of the survey universe. One pair discovered an amalgamation of rocks surrounded by what seemed to be rotting wood at 10-12 inches deep — this may be the foundation of a building. Next week, we will be digging deeper and around the rock in order to see what exactly it may be. Additionally, another pair found what seemed to be a tile in their test pit. We hope to dig more holes and see what else we can find.

 

An image of the amalgamation of rocks found.

 

The final groups finished the survey grid and continued mapping the site.

Finishing the survey grid involved extending down one more row down the hill. After dealing with some difficulties stemming from the steep hill, the grid was completed. Survey teams examined each of the new squares finding a variety of trash, as well as some noteable older artifacts including several bricks that appear similar to the bricks recovered from the rubble heap dig. The most common kinds of trash were glass fragments from broken bottles, plastic wrappers, and a continuing puzzling distribution of golf balls. The finds support the idea that this area has been recreation focused in more ways than one. We have also seen a higher density of artifacts in the least manicured areas of the site, noteable the hill and a survey unit that appears to have avoided the landscaping associated with units closer to the lacrosse field. Whether this anecdotal pattern bears out in the data will be determined in the coming analysis stage. Overall, the survey team is happy to have completed its data collection and looks forward to answers offered in the analysis stage.i The survey teams also had the pleasure of meeting several dogs, and had a great moment of community

outreach, explaining our project to the dog owners.

The mapping team finished laying out the points for the grid in GIS, as well as the new test pits and newly uncovered pieces of the path system. The hope is that the gis points laid down in the previous field day will be helpful in identifying the spatial orientation from the plans. At the moment we have a well developed map of the site and a completed survey, that should provide us ample data to work with in the coming weeks.

PineHillGrid-2

 

One thought on “Week 6

  1. Pingback: Weekly Summaries | Archaeology in the Cowling Arboretum

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