Sunday, June 20, 2010

More Pottery from the Oval Enclosure Ditch

As we moved eastward with our 3 x 3 meter excavation units, we once again encountered the oval enclosure ditch (Feature 09-18). As before, it appeared as a 1.5 to 2.0 meter wide, north-south oriented soil stain running along the eastern wall of unit 508N 506E. In the image below, you can see the enclosure ditch as a darker brown stain on the right (east) side of the unit. The horizontal dark streaks are plow scars and the pretty s-shaped curvy stain is a rodent burrow. The round spot at the west end of the curve is actually a small basin called Feature 10-01. Feature 10-02, described in the last post, can be seen in the upper left (northwest) corner of the image.

As this image shows, the fill of the oval enclosure ditch is relatively light in color, compared to other sections of the ditch. It contains a low density of artifacts with pottery being the most significant class of artifact found so far. One interesting rim sherd found this past week is from a grit-tempered, fabric impressed vessel. The rim measures about 6.0 cm wide and was found at 26 cm below datum. In the closeup shown below, the impression of an open weave, net-like fabric can be seen on the exterior surface. This impression could have been made by a net bag used for collecting plant material; its openings appear too small for it to have been used as a fishing net.

Fabric marked pottery such as this is less common in Early Woodland assemblages from northern Ohio than it is in the Ohio Valley and to the south. Still, there is no reason to think that this vessel was particularly unusual or maybe imported from parts south. It does point out the interesting range of variability in Early Woodland ceramic wares that were manufactured and used by the native peoples of northern Ohio.