Thursday, July 21, 2011

Some Final Day Surprises

Every season interesting things tend to be found on the last day of excavation. This year was no exception. The finishing touches were put on the excavation of the large pit Feature 11-39 by Allison Z. and Marcia R. At the very bottom they discovered a large post mold, similar in form to the two "post pits" found last season and Feature 11-37, just 1.5 meters to the southeast. As with the last feature, it wasn't until all the fill had been removed from 11-39 that three-quarters of a circular cavity was detected at the very base of the pit. Note the steeply inclined sides of this pit and large post "hole" in the image below.

As with the other post pits, this deep, funnel shape seems impractical for use as a storage facility or cooking pit. Our crew did find additional fragments of at least one vessel in the fill (see below), but the artifact content was rather meager.

No, I think these features are the locations where large posts were set up and then taken down. It seems likely that the pit itself was the result of the removal of the post, since no clear mold of an in situ post was apparent in the cross-section of the feature. Only the very end of the post was visible as it protruded beneath the surrounding pit and protruded into the subsoil. As will be discussed in a future post, this particular prehistoric post may have supported a large structure. More on that later.