Saturday, June 26, 2010

Following the Stockade Line

Last Monday, we opened another 3 x 3 meter unit, but unlike the others, this unit was placed just to the north of our bulldozer transect at 514N 509E. This spatial deviation was designed to expose more of the eastern stockade line discovered last week. As expected, more of the distinct line of post molds were seen clearly on the floor of the unit and the line continued to the northeast. This particular segment of the line told us even more since it clearly ran across Feature 09-18, the filled ditch of the oval enclosure which was also exposed in this unit. Thus, we now know that the stockade line was erected after about 300 B.C., which is our current date for the filling of the enclosure ditch. How many years after is still uncertain.

The image below shows unit 514N 509E with the stockade post molds marked by red flagging tape. The line runs directly southwest (toward the corner where Jim and Debbie--with the fancy knee pads--are standing). You will notice that the line runs through an oval feature stain that is

partially excavated. This is Feature 10-11, a shallow pit or lens of dark soil that contained FCR and a few pot sherds. Interestingly, the post mold line disappeared at this feature, but upon excavation, the two missing post molds were exposed. As the image below shows, the post molds were 'hidden' under the pit (one is indicated by the arrow), which means that this small feature was constructed after the eastern stockade line came down. Unlike Feature 10-02, which also interrupted the post line, we recovered no good diagnostic artifacts from Feature 10-11 which could give us some chronological information. We will not chase this stockade line farther for the time being; we have much still to do in our main transect.