Excavation Update: Group Two

This week’s update on the progress of excavation group two comes courtesy of ANTH60a student, Mozelle Shamash Rosenthal. Mozelle is a Brandeis University undergraduate student majoring in Anthropology.

At the Barrett’s Mill Farm site on September 11th, Group Two was assigned to the area behind the farmhouse where we hope to find the stone foundations of an old barn. We know there used to be a barn behind the farmhouse due to local stories of a barn on the site. The area we were supposed to start digging was very overgrown, and we spent most of our time on Friday making a clearing to work in. After several hours of weed whacking and raking, we could clearly see some changes in elevation of the earth. There were several dips and bumps that may be remnants of the foundation of the barn that existed several hundred meters behind the current farmhouse. These could also be cause by a variation of other factors including tree roots and the disposal of building waste. There also used to be an train line running through the property, and there may be waste from this as well.

Prof. Koh, Megan from Group Two, and graduate student volunteer Leah clear the area in Operation 6
Prof. Koh, Megan from Group Two, and graduate student volunteer Leah clear the area in Operation 3

Near the end of the day, after clearing out the overgrowth, we were able to oriented ourselves in the space where we will be placing several units and decide where the best place to start working might be so we measured the 9m Northern edge of the clearing, near a very low ridge, which may identify one of the walls of the old foundation of the barn. Our first unit this week will be placed along this line in the hopes of hitting a stone foundation. We were unable to start digging this week due to the amount of clearing to be done, but the undulations in the ground were evident, even thought it is not clear what caused them.

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