Monday, June 8, 2015

End of Week Two

Ethan and Alice, showing off
U of R pride
Students wearing this year's official
dig t-shirt

It's hard to believe how quickly time flies during a field school. Seems like just yesterday everyone was getting off the plane, but we've fused into a well honed team and have made tremendous progress, both educationally and on Oven Site. And we just completed Seventeenth-Century Day, which will get its own blog post a bit later.

Since the last installment, We took much of Oven Site down on a plane to the surface of the late 17th-century floor layer. En route, we discerned from among the later quarry rubble a 2-3 course narrow stone wall which had toppled inward - apparently the footing for a wooden sill that supported the frame of the second-period timber frame house.

17th-century floor in foreground, with fallen wall just to the north, looking north
This was an important find, since we have not thus far found exterior postholes (as one often finds on 17th-century Chesapeake sites). There is a messy interface between the interior floor (Master Contexts 006 and 009) and the exterior yard (Master Context 122), but hopefully another few days of excavation will sort this out.

House exterior trench,
Excavations in the front yard of Oven Site have proved disappointing - very shallow deposits with few artifacts, but we did recover some North Devon plain coarse earthenware and a chert fragment. We will likely have to extend the trench further north, toward the big yellow tank, which seems to always end up where we next need to dig. A one-ton dowsing rod, so to speak!

The students have learned a lot and are now fairly proficient at context recording, drawing plans, taking elevations, and discerning layer changes. Having Mimi, Sam, and Alice and returnee-mentors has been a great help!  Saturday was the first tally of scoring for the Gelato Cup, and Team Leigh prevailed by a narrow margin (180 to 171). Jim vows to take it back next week, though!

Besides the work on Smiths Island, we've had many other adventures. Our collective viewing of Game of Thrones (Season Five) has become a field school tradition, attracting everyone except Ethan, who isn't caught up yet and doesn't want spoilers. Last week, Officer Norman again invited us to Paget Island to see old Fort Paget (circa 1612), Fort Cunningham, and to let the brave and crazy among us try their skills on the ropes course. A great day out!

Our Leigh-der on the zipline

1 comment:

Jonathan Zeleznik said...

Looks like you guys have done quite a bit after only a couple of weeks, looking forward to seeing what this entire season unravels. Looking forward to a close up shot of the T-shirt from this year! Props on the Leigh-der pun!