Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rain = Field Trip

Today all work focused on the Indian King Hotel area and we opened a
new unit to seach for the dimensions of the building. Some interesting
artifacts that were uncovered included a thimble, rivet, and a marble.
Unfortunatly after lunch we got rained out, but the rain gave us a
chance to visit the Mudd house and the Surratt house. At the Surratt
House and Mudd House we learned more about the Booth escape route.

In response to the question how far is the Indian King Hotel area in
relation to the Blacksmith area, the distance from one area to the
area is approximatley fifty to a hundred feet. As for the next
question, what is the significance of the Indian King Hotel, the
Indian King hotel is where Union soldiers were during the
assassination plot. The foundation that was located is made of brick.

Today we had many volunteers and visitors, including Allison's friend
Bill. Thank you to everyone who came out to help us! We hope to be
digging again tomorrow, so let's hope for sunny skies.

Magen, Allison and Katharine

Friday, June 19, 2009

By George, We Found It!

The morning started with Katharine and Allison being left in Siberia
to finish up their units. This involved doing some final mapping and
interpretation. It was decided that Allison's unit probably is a
robbed out foundation. Jim may return to the area and look at the
surrounding units to see if he can find more of the foundation.
Katharine took down more arbitrary levels in her unit to reach subsoil
across the whole unit. We now believe that at some point an erosive
natural channel ran through the area which caused movement of
artifacts along with pooling of different densities of gravel
throughout the strats.

In other news Unit 71 in the Indian King hotel area has yielded a
portion of a foundation . Now that the foundation has been located we
will open units to follow the foundation to determine its size. The
Indian King area has yielded some interesting artifacts including a
marble, a window lead, and a key. A window lead is a piece of lead put
in a window to help it keep its shape. This artifact may help us date
the deposit it was found in because a law made the companies making
the leads stamp the year they were manufactured on the inside.

Tomorrow we will continue to follow the foundation that we found
today. Thank you to all of our volunteers who came out today!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Oh look, it's raining...

Today the excavations continued, in spite of some morning showers.

We worked on our blacksmith units today in case we needed to make a
quick exit due to rain. In Allison's unit we removed two strats, one
of which had what appears to be building stones. We believe that there
was a building here at some point, and when the building was torn down
the foundation was robbed out and the less desirable stones were put
back into the trench. This may have been the blacksmith shop we are
looking for due to large amounts of metal and some ceramics that would
have been available during the Civil War.

Katharine dug to magma in her muddy unit, in an attempt to explain the
gravelly stratigraphy above. Lots of colonial period ceramic and
glass came out of this unit along with a pipe stem, some large pieces
of coal slag, and a large brick. Rather than using our usual method
of digging by stratigraphic layer (same soil type), we chose to dig an
arbitrary level since there were so many complex layers. We reached
what seems to be subsoil in one corner of the arbitrary level, while
on the other edge of the unit there is a very dark stained section.
Tomorrow we plan to finish out that unit.

We hope to see you out here tomorrow! Thanks to Brent and Carolyn for
joining us today despite the questionable weather!

Katharine, Allison, and Magen

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog

Our technical report on the 2008 Archeological Society of Maryland field session at Port Tobacco is now available from the website's downloads page. It is a hefty 48MB so the download may take some time.


Excavations To Continue Tomorrow

Today we were up in Brandywine digging shovel test pits for Jim to get some experience with CRM work. Hopefully the rain will pass soon as we plan to continue excavations here in Port Tobacco tomorrow. Come join us as we finish up the blacksmith shop area and focus our attention on the Indian King Hotel area!

Katharine, Allison and Magen

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Scenes from the Field Session

The interns are off today so I present you with a scene from the Archeological Society of Maryland's field session at Port Tobacco that took place last month. This is Anne cleaning up some units with a trash feature and plow scars in it.

We will not be excavating at Port Tobacco tomorrow, Wednesday.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Allison sent to Siberia: please send buckets

Today we broke up into two teams again in hopes of getting more work done. Allison, an intern from the Navy named Scott, and a revolving number of volunteers stayed at our old units in hopes of interpreting what the soil has to tell us. Scott's unit contained a few impressive artifacts, including a largely complete punch bowl. After more excavating, we believe that the complex stratigraphy was caused by erosion from water and soil washing down the hill to the east of us. Allison's unit insisted on remaining complex, but a few things became clear. The sand bar going through may indeed be at least related to the blacksmith shop due to the high number of metal artifacts found in it. Hopefully, the gravel statum in the unit was caused by runoff from the nearby hills being stopped by a building.

In other news Magen and Katherine continued their seach for the Indian King Hotel.By afternoon the unit began to display a change in statatigraphy. Further investigation showed that the color change was actually a soil lens laying on top of the plowzone . Also another unit was laid out in order to widen the seach for the Indian King Hotel. The two units yielded a number of intersting artifacts including part of a slate pencil ,a shoe sole , and a decorated pipe bowl. Tommorrow is the day off and excavation will continue Thursday or Friday. We would like to thank Katharine's family for coming today and for the cookies. Also we would like to thank Brent for the ice water.

Allison and Magen

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Another broken nail

Today was a busy day for the little worker bees at Port Tobacco. First, a feature was excavated in order to better understand what is going on in the units as a whole. Magen and Carol water screened the contents to see what small artifacts could be recovered. The artifacts found included glass and ceramic. Our current interpretation of the feature is that it is an intrusion into the sandy area we are seeing, making it a possible storage pit or other pit that was placed there purposfully

After the feature was mostly done, Magen led an expodition to the other end of the field to open new units to look for the Indian King Hotel. Allison and Katharine stayed behind, trying to interpret the stratigraphy with Dr. Beisaw in the units we have been working on. We believe that we may be seeing a floor or some sort of living surface in the form of a sand bar that runs through the units.

And in other news, Dr. Beisaw broke another nail, making two this week. Tomorrow we will be working on the Indian King Hotel units, hopefully finding a foundation. Jim will be coming out tomorrow and giving a ceramics workshop for the interns.

We would like to thank our volunteers for coming out to help us and for everyone who came out to see us, including Chief Red Wing Tayac.

Allison and Magen