Saturday, July 11, 2009

Moving Inside the Enclosure

Early in Week Five we were fortunate to have the assistance of the Museum's Future Scientists under the direction of Dr. Jeff Day and supervisors Lin and Frank. Not one to miss such an opportunity, I set them to work excavating two three by three meter units to the east of the enclosure trench. These young men and women did an excellent job removing 30 cm of plow zone soils using rounded shovel, flat shovels, hoes, and finally trowels. On the way down they discovered lots of stone tool debris, fire-cracked rock, and a few artifacts such as a Late Prehistoric period triangular (Madison type) arrow point and a corner-notched (Middle Woodland) dart tip. Here they are in their freshly-dug units.

As a result of their efforts, we were able to examine an 18-square meter area of the enclosure interior. This was our first foray 'inside', and we did not know what we would find. When we did the final troweling and sweeping of the unit floors the next day, we identified several dark feature stains and numerous post molds. In the western unit (shown below) we defined a large oval stain that appears to have been the source of yet another magnetic anomaly.

Upon excavation of this feature (09-26), we found a shallow pit containing a large quantity of charcoal and FCR, just the stuff to produce a strong magnetic signal. Unfortunately, no diagnostic pottery or stone tools were found, but this feature still provides important 'ground-truth' data on the magnetic signatures of prehistoric features at the site.