Trench Three Findings

Trench Three Overview

The result of a shovel test pit, this trench was dug later in our fieldwork upon the discovery of a large block of concrete, seemingly a fragment of a building’s foundation. While further excavation did not uncover a great deal of individual artifacts, the dig proved justified as it allowed much greater access to the foundation material. A 3D model of the completed trench is displayed on the photogrammetry page of this website. The location of this trench in the greater context of the full fieldwork completed at Pine Hill Village site is shown on the interactive map page. A broader understanding of the historical context of GI villages, and the creation of this specific site can be found on their respective pages.

For this trench, context 1 entailed the surface layer of soil and grasses, and context 2 was defined as the layer of soil below the surface. Context 2’s soil was dark, damp, and rich soil, and excavation of the context revealed no further stratigraphy.

Context 1:


Material: glass


Figure 1: Image of the glass marble found in context 1.

Glass marbles have been made by the same process since the early 1900s, making this artifact difficult to date. However, its presence gives an indication of the recreational use of the area in the time since the dismantling of the village.


Material: metal


Figure 2: Image of the 2 nails found in the trench.

Like nails found at other trenches, these artifacts are difficult to specifically identify but continue to confirm the presence of built structures throughout the site. We assume that these are modern machine-cut nails dating from after the the 1830s because the heads are uniformly convex on each side. However, because the shape of nails has not particularly evolved since the 1830s and because the nails are fairly rusted, it is difficult to determine a more exact time period for when these nails were manufactured. A guide to nail chronology produced by the National Parks Service suggests that decorative details — such as the ruts on the side of the nails and the pattern on the top of the nail — are necessary to distinguish modern machine-cut nails from modern wire nails. These details are obscured by the rust and wear of the building items.

Trench Feature:


Figure 3: Image of the completed trench 3 from above, including the concrete foundation feature as well as references for size and cardinal direction.

This feature, a buried block of concrete and wood fragments discovered at a depth of 6 inches, indicates the location of one of the village’s buildings. The feature is a segment of a building’s foundation.


Overall, this trench did not produce many individual artifacts, however it contained a very significant feature and furthered our evidence for the precise location of construction on the site.


Nelson, Lee H.

1962 Nail Chronology as an Aid to Dating Old Buildings. National Parks Service Technical Pamphlets 1-12.

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Calypso Leonard and Kirsten Walters