Excavation Update: Group Five

This week’s update on the progress of excavation group five comes courtesy of ANTH60a student, Chang “Adrian” Lou. Adrian is a Brandeis University undergraduate student majoring in International and Global Studies.

Last Friday was officially our third day of digging. The weather was beautiful. We continued to work on our unit behind the farmhouse. We have already finished cleaning up context 110A and started on context 110B.

As we were working at an intensively wood-covered area, our units contained a mass number of roots, which created challenges for our digging process. In order to clear these roots and keep the soil structure undamaged, we decided to chop the roots with clippers instead of simply pulling them out [Editor: pulling roots disturbs stratigraphy, so good work, Group Five!]. The top soil of 110B appeared to be quite similar with that of 110A: they were both dark brown and shared similar soil textures. However, it was notable that the gravel content of 110B was slightly lower.

Group five hard at work on Unit 110 (Op. 3)
Group Five hard at work on Unit 110 (Op. 3)

The day turned out to be a day of bumper harvest in terms of findings. As we dug deeper and deeper, we began to find an abundance of objects. We first found a few pieces of glass in the section; they were similar in size and one of them was curved. Then more metal objects were discovered, including several metal nails and a bottle cap. Because there used to be a barnhouse around our unit, we believe that these metal objects might be the remains of the barn foundation. Furthermore, we found two slices of thin fragments. We were uncertain about the material of the fragment, but we thought it was most likely plastic.

The most exciting finding of the day was a piece of bone. The bone was discovered at the southeast part of the 110B section and was near the bottom of the layer. According to Sarah, our teaching assistant, it was a long bone of an unknown animal and she said bones are one of the most significant objects in the archaeological world. Professor Parno then came by to make a personal observation of the bone and had it labeled and stored in a small, distinctive artifact bag.

Artifacts discovered in the upper layers of Unit 110 (Op. 3) by Group Five
Artifacts discovered in the upper layers of Unit 110 (Op. 3) by Group Five

By the end of the day, we reached section 110C. The soil color was notably different and the texture was harder. Unfortunately though, we did not go deeper in the section because we ran out of time.


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