But first, our very busy week so far. We're three-quarters of the way through a solid stretch of digging, in which we've now doubled the width of the North-South trench in order to catch the eastern face of the house. We've also started two new units to the north and outside the house in order to see differences in the interior vs. yard scatter artifact assemblage. The real challenge has been taking out the quarry debris layer (Master Context 005), which thickens to more than three feet in the center of the house interior and is a bear to dig through.
|The Top of the Dreaded Quarry Layer (005)|
|N2 E8 with quarry fill...|
Nearby, Judd and Andrew took out similar quarry fill next to the stair footing that Jonathan Z. found last year, following a perfectly straight wall that forms part of the room projecting east.
So it's tough going, with very few artifacts but necessary to get to the "Promised Land" of that artifact-rich floor layer! I keep promising the students it will all be worth it, but some are starting to question the hype!
To catch up on what we've already dug (35 contexts thus far) and prepare students for identifying the range of artifacts we hope to find in the floor layer, we had a lab evening on Thursday to go over artifact washing protocol.
We were also fortunate to learn ceramic identification first-hand using a large but completely undocumented collection of 17th- through 19th-century artifacts from Rose Cottage in Devonshire, which the students sorted into earthenwares, stonewares, and porcelain and then differentiated these into various ware types. Wieldonware, anyone?
Besides excavating, today we ended a bit early and toured Bermudian fortifications on nearby Paget Island (Thanks Officer Norman!), starting with 400-year-old Fort Paget and then moving up the hill to Fort Cunningham, with a pause in the moat to scamper along the massive RML cannon there.
|Sam in the barrel of a Very Large Gun|
|Sarah and Roger|
We've also had several Bermudian volunteers come out this week - Xander and Roger are both only one more digging day away from earning their exclusive "Licensed To Dig"(TM) field school shirt, and Mark, Sarah, Tawana and Shannon are off to a good start. Heather Kopelson, a fellow historian of Bermuda at the University of Alabama, is also here this week digging with us.
|Jim relaxes in the Mike Read Commemorative Hammock|