Bee Candelaria

Lab Week 9: Artifact Analysis II

This week, the majority of lab time was spent on final projects, but we did spend the first half working on artifact analysis. We finished the couple of bags left, which were mostly pieces of little-diagnosticity from survey units. I used the same methods as I did last week.

It was riveting, truly riveting.

Next, I worked mainly on doing write-ups for the two projects I took point for the quarry site. One, my main project, is the documentary record. I compiled all my research and chased some loose ends, but still was not able to find any documentary record of our quarry. My write-up focuses on what was found, so subsequent archaeologists of the class can look deeper if they are so obliged. The other, smaller project I worked on was on geological evidence of human intervention at the quarry site. I first emailed Dr. Mary Savina to get her opinion and added that quote into my write up. I also added pictures of the rock wall which I believe display the characteristics of human intervention that Dr. Savina described to me.

Lab Week 8: Artifact Analysis I

This week, we were cleaning and lotting artifacts found at the quarry and field survey sites. I was in a group handling artifacts from the gridded survey done at the quarry site in section K10, along with Scout and Cecilia. We began with the glass shards, as they were the most abundant and would require the most amount of work. We started by cleaning them with water and toothbrushes to reveal any diagnostic information they may have. While we were doing this, we sorted them into preliminary lots based on their general placement on the bottle. We separated body, rim, and base pieces apart and also had a separate lot for the one piece of brown class which we found.

The body and rim pieces were easy enough to separate out, and both went into their own, collective lots. There were 46 pieces of glass from the body portion of the bottles and 6 pieces from the rim portions on the bottles. Neither of these lots had a large amount of diagnosticity. The base pieces, however, almost all gave different diagnostic information and therefore had to all go into separate lots. In the end, we concluded the glass shards with 5 base pieces each in their own lot and two base pieces with little diagnosticity together in 1 lot, 1 lot for the rim pieces, 1 lot for the brown piece of glass, and 1 lot for the body pieces.

Next we worked on the metal pieces from the grid section. We did not use water for this, but rather just the toothbrushes to lightly brush off any dirt and to reveal portions which were not rusted and could provide diagnostic information. In this, we had 5 metal tops (each with varying sorts and degrees of diagnostic information), 3 metal can tabs of the same kind, 2 different metal bottle caps, and 2 completely rusted bottoms of cans. In this material type, we had 9 lots.

The last bag was a singular Halls wrapper. Therefore, it was in a lot by itself.

Below includes all of the lot numbers, descriptions, and diagnostic information we were able to gather.

Collection TypeCollection UnitLotMaterialQuantityDescriptionTypologyChronology NotesUse/FunctionReferencesOther notes
Gridded SurveyGS-K101Glass1Bottom of a clear glass bottle, inscribed with a logo of two, interlocking cursive F’s inside a circle.Glass Bottle
Gridded SurveyGS-K102Glass1Bottom of a clear glass bottle. Inscribed with 38 JJ 1711. Glass Bottle
Gridded SurveyGS-K103Glass1Bottom of a clear glass bottle. Inscribed with T-shaped logo surrounded by a triange, a 66 with an s below it, 10 in a triangle with a 6 above it. Glass BottleAnchor Glass Container Corporation – logo of letters AG in the form of an anchor – seen on containers and dates from 1983 to 2014Liquid container
Gridded SurveyGS-K104Glass1Bottom of a clear glass bottle. 5 lines of engraved dot around the edge.Glass Bottle
Gridded SurveyGS-K105Glass2Bottom of a clear glass bottle. Glass Bottle
Gridded SurveyGS-K106Glass1Bottom of a clear glass bottle, inscribed with 10, logo of an AGlass Bottle
Gridded SurveyGS-K107Glass6Rim of clear glass bottle. Area under the rim ebs outward and then curves inward. Glass Bottle
Gridded SurveyGS-K108Glass46Clear glass body piece of a bottle. Glass Bottle
Gridded SurveyGS-K109Glass1Brown glass body piece of a bottle.Glass Bottle
Gridded SurveyGS-K101Metal1Metal can top. Tab removed. Printed with “Colt 45.” Inscribed with concentric circle around edge, broken where tab was. Inscribed with “Lift Ring,” and “Pull Open.”Metal CanThe inscription”Pull Open” refer to the pull-tab mechanism, which dates the cans as being produced after 1963 but before 1975. The inscription “Lift Ring” means that it was produced post 1965, as ring pulls were introduced in 1975top for beer container
Gridded SurveyGS-K102Metal1Metal can top. Tab removed. Inscribed with concentric circle around edge, broken where tab was. Inscribed with “Schlitz” on both sides.Metal Can1965-1975top for beer container
Gridded SurveyGS-K103Metal1Metal can top. Tab removed. Inscribed with “Lift Ring – Pull,” “Pat pend.”Metal Can1965-1975top for beer container
Gridded SurveyGS-K104Metal1Metal can top. Tab removed. Two raised teardrop shapes. One inscribed with “Pull Open,” the other inscribed with “Lift Ring.”Metal Can1965-1975top for beer container
Gridded SurveyGS-K105Metal1Metal bottle cap. Painted orange. Trademark symbol and registered symbol. Painted with “dietary beverage”, Metal bottle cap. Painted orange. Trademark symbol and registered symbol. Painted with “dietary beverage”, “Ingredients Carbonated Water, Caramel Color 0ALC10, Cyclmate Phosphoric Acid, Cafine, Saccharin, and flavorings, 1/20 of 1% benzoate of soda as a perservative,” “Bottled by Coca cola bottle co. of Minnesota inc. Minneapolis, Minn. 55414,” “Twist on to reseal twist off to open (with arrows)” Metal Can1967-1968 with the coke can from GS-L10, Lot 3, this particular group of trash could be dated between 1967-1968
Gridded SurveyGS-K106Metal1Metal bottle cap. Ridges around side. Inscribed with turn to open 3 times around edge.Metal Can
Gridded SurveyGS-K107Metal3Metal can tabs. Metal Canpull-tabs were used from 1963 to 1975, when cans started to be built with stay-tabs, and so the presence of pull tabs here suggests that they were made after 1963 but before 1975. This combined with the inscription on the cans that says “pull ring” and the ring shape of the tab, suggests that they were produced after 1965to open the can
Gridded SurveyGS-K108Metal1Top of metal can with 1/4 body. Tab removed. Inscribed with PAT PEND.Metal Can1965-1975top of beer container
Gridded SurveyGS-K109Metal2Base of metal cans. Entirely rusted.Metal Can
Gridded SurveyGS-K101Paper1Printed with Halls logo, “Don’t give up on yourself,” “Take charge and mean it,” “Don’t try harder, do harder,” “March.”Halls Wrapper2012-2020
Scout, Cecilia, and Bee’s artifacts analyzed on 19 May 2021

Lab Week 7: Millpond Dike Excavation

I was a part of the group that worked on the Millpond Dike excavation this week – along with Connor, Lucille, Cecilia, Scout (and Sam, if he counts). We began the day by starting a new context. I was sifting with Scout and Sam for the first part of class, which wielded no interesting results. There was, a couple of buckets in, slight clumps of soil which were much sandier than the other soils in the context. They closer represented the soil from earlier contexts. Unlike the other clumps of dirt, these fell apart to bits of sediment rather than breaking off into smaller clumps of dirt.

For the second part of the lab, I was digging in the trench. We used the shovel shaving technique since the purpose of the excavation was not meticulous artifact uncovering and instead was trying to get to the center of the dike to see what the foundation was. We didn’t get there, but we did find one, singular rock embedded in the soil. This was probably just a rock, but it was the first encountered and was 5 feet below the surface of the dike, so it may be indicative of the closeness to the center.

Lab Week 6: Documentary Record

Due to COVID vaccination-related sickness, I was unable to go out to the quarry site today. Instead, I looked into the documentary record to find mentions of quarrying in and around Northfield and any mentions of the Millpond Dike or Waterford Mill in regards to quarrying. I went through Newspaper Reels that cover the Northfield News from 1879–1923 (Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub). In short, I didn’t find any overt evidence that could link the quarry and the dike. I did, however, find many avenues which could possibly be searched more.

  • Land owned by Joe Grunly in Northfield had a stone quarry on it
  • A quarry on Rock Island Railway, headed by Siems, Helmer, and Schaffner; men wanted in 1920 (when was the dike built?)
  • J. E. Crosby opens a new stone quarry near the city water tank (1899)

Those are the most promising of options I was able to tease out. I believe looking into the land deeds of Crosby and Grunly would be effective next steps.

Lab Week 5: Excavation I

After a brief meeting in the lab, we laid out a plan of action for the excavation. A trench in the L10 survey unit would be opened to look for some other evidence of anthropogenic events. We also carried the DGPS equipment to finish that. Thankfully, the Tuesday group had already put most of the equipment in the Arb office, so we didn’t have to carry it the entire way. After a stop at the Arb office and a twisted ankle, we were out of the site. I was a part of the group that was clearing off the rock wall to begin to investigate its origins. I was in a pair with Conner and we set the boundaries for Cleaning Section 1, which was 3 meters wide, 2 meters long, and 1 meter high. There was a good deal of rubble, dirt, and debris around so even with the good amount of head way we made, the jury is still out on whether or not the rock wall is anthropogenic.

Lab Week 4: Field Survey II

We met in the lab this week to discuss site survey techniques and general research questions to keep in mind while surveying. We looked at different mapping and data collecting techniques. We learned about DGPS, which our group was able to take out into the field to do. There was a decision to go survey the Quarry, which seems to be the area of interest for this term. On the walk out there, I realized that I a) hate tall people and b) am more out of shape than I thought. However, once we got out there, all was well.

The Tuesday group did a good bit of the heavy lifting in the mapping area, so the Wednesday lab was able to focus more of sampling. There was a group that worked on expanding the grid more and another group that worked with Sam with the DGPS. I was in a group with Scout and we surveyed 3 areas: K11, J12, J13. In K11, which was closer to the larger trash pile near the rock face, there was a great deal of broken glass of various sizes and thicknesses. Hopefully, we will be able to find something from its manufacturing marks or even reconstruct part of the bottle. In J12 and J13, since they were on the side of a steep hill, there was not much to be seen and surveying without breaking a leg was a difficult endeavor in general. We believe that any artifacts that might have been on the hill would have either been buried deeper into the dirt or would have already fallen down the hill. There was, however, small terraces of rock that were seemingly unnaturally even and relatively smooth.

We collected all of the glass and one piece of metal (a can tab) from K11.

Lab Week 3: Field Survey I

This week, the Wednesday lab group went out to the field adjacent to the driving range to field walk. Before we began surveying, we measured out 20 meters and used the average number of strides it took us individually to walk that space to estimate 10 meters. We used this measurement to space ourselves out into transects, 4 surveyors to each group with 1 recorder who measured the corners of the survey unit.

I was a part of Group C and surveyed the transect closest to the driving range. The beginning survey unit (C01) was relatively bare for me. I found golfballs and nothing else. In the next surgery unit (C02), I found 3 more golfballs. I collected two of these but left one that was stuck in the dirt. In the last survey unit (C03), I did not find or collect anything from my transect. My team reported our finds to Sachit, the recorder for out team, after each survey unit. We also learned how to label the different bags from our finds.

In my team, besides golfballs, 2 unidentified pieces of metal (Kalju) and 1 plastic gum wrapper (by Scout) were found. Cecilia found a large number of golfballs in the second survey unit, including 2 yellow ones.

I speculate that the golfballs made their way into our survey field by rascal old men who thought hitting in the other direction would be funny.

Lab Week 2: Arb Tour with Nancy Braker

This week, we took the opportunity to take an Arb tour with Director Nancy Braker and Alex. We set out from the Arb office to the lower Arb. Our first stop gave Nancy a chance to tell us about the history of the Arb, the first of its kind in the Midwest. We learned that the Arb was once home to farmers who raised dairy cows and chickens. This gives the Arb an invaluable archaeological importance because we are able to see not only early Carleton student life, but early 20th century life in Northfield. Since then the Arb has grown into a restorative site where research on prairies is conducted. Our next stop brought us the Waterford Mill, where Alex described the incredible manpower it would take to form the dike which led us out to the ruins of the Mill and dam. This particular idea is of great interest to me; I believe it could lend us insight to both the Mill’s earliest history and the lives of laborers at the time. We then visited a (possible) quarry off the beaten path which could also give insight to the lives of laborers at the time (and perhaps be linked to the Mill’s history). Our next stop was at the Waterford Bridge. 

Then, we stopped at the Women’s League Cabin. This site was much more recently intact than the Mill had been. By excavating further than the 2015 class did, we could gain more insight to student life, particularly women’s student life here when Carleton was largely male-dominated. A possible issue with this site is its apparent frequency of visitors. The Tuesday lab group encountered a man there and our lab group encountered teenagers most likely doing illegal things. Nancy’s story of the group which burned furniture at the site also supports the risk of disturbance to the site. 

Our last two stops were towards the upper Arb. First, we traveled to a field which once housed a farmhouse. Because of recent tilling of the field, visibility may be diminished, but artifacts may have come closer to the surface (also with the assistance of the freezing winters, who would’ve known?). Our last stop was Pine Hill Village near Bell Field where World War II veterans were housed with their families while at school on the GI Bill. Again, possibly disturbance from students could affect excavation.