Results from July 1, 2006

Today the weather shifted a bit more to the "gosh, I'm sticky" kind of weather. It was a bit hard to tell whether we were actually sweating, or just condensing some of the abundant moisture out of the air. With temperatures in the low-mid 90s (almost matching the ambient humidity), the breeze in the morning was greatly appreciated. The lack of a breeze in the afternoon was received with somewhat less enthusiasm by the crew and volunteers -- but it at least gave us something to talk about.

Arriving a bit early, we once again took the opportunity to look around a bit of the new state property. Passing the barn, we noticed some new additions -- several fearless young barn swallows were resting on the barn gate waiting for Mom to bring them some food.

We also discovered a third, very small springfed pond. Covered with algae, but home to a number of turtles.

The "shoreline" of this small pond also shows evidence of the frequent visitors from the local community -- the animal tracks include deer, turkey, rabbit, raccoon, dog, and others.

Today was the last of our Volunteer Days for this summer field session. We appreciate the assistance and comraderie of our volunteers for the day: Edie Crane, Georgia Dennis, Susan Finger, Ann Funkhouser, Elaine Hackerman, George Heinrich, Caroline Kiev, Lib Roller, Jeff Stewart, Virginia Vesper, and Mike Warren.

We also had visits from the family of several of our student crew members today -- Jesse's parents stopped by to view his "digs" along with Natalie's mother and father and Brandy's mother, grandparents, and sister.

We continued work with our volunteers on the "circular pit" and the "wall-trench house." Below, experienced archaeo-volunteers Jeff and Mike start excavations of a section of the south wall-trench.

While volunteers Caroline and Edie work with Lacey and Robin on two of the wall trenches on the west side of the building.

To the north, Lib worked with Jonathan and Beth on the north wall of the structure.

Mike discusses the weather with our old friend Susan Finger who showed up to help with the screening (her mother is supervising on the right). In the background, Jeff is excavating portions of the south wall trench, while Brandy and Richard work in the background on a new unit that revealed our first glimpse of the east wall.

Meanwhile, Jesse and Natalie worked with Georgia and George on the large post and pit that now appears to be in the center of our wall trench structure. As excavation proceeded today, we discovered a second large posthole. The photo below shows our first large posthole in yellow -- the new large posthole (probably associated with a rebuilding of the structure) is outlined in white. The blue outlines are slanted "ramps" next to each posthole used by the ancient inhabitants of this town to slide these enormous posts into the holes and then tilt them up for final placement.

The wall trenches of this building continue to produce some interesting bits of ancient garbage -- the photo below shows the pharyngeal teeth of a freshwater drumfish. Each of the holes in this bone once contained grinding teeth for this native fish.

At the close of the day, we have identified portions of four walls of the structure -- along with three of the corners. Only one more corner to go!

The photo below shows the south wall of the building in yellow -- along with the newly discovered segment of the east wall in blue.

Back over at our "circular pit structure," several volunteers and students continued work. Below, Lynne supervises as her mom cleans up a part of "Feature 4." Virginia works at the screen.

In a nearby unit, Alex works with volunteer Elaine on another portion of Feature 4.

The trash filling this circular pit continues to produce some intriguing artifacts discarded by the inhabitants of this town. Below, Tracy shows off a large portion of a cooking pot.

Alex and Elaine unearthed yet another beautiful piece of fabric-impressed pottery.

Later in the afternoon, Georgia continued working on this feature.

By the close of the day, we had exposed almost the entire outline of this four-meter diameter pit. The picture continues to match our interpretations from yesterday -- a large circular pit with what appears to be an entrance ramp from the upper left (outlined in yellow). The blue outline shows what we anticipate to be the firepit in the center of the structure.

Overall -- a great day in the Castalian Springs neighborhood. Thanks to our student crew and volunteers, we are several steps closer to understanding our two buildings. We have a lot of work to do in the next few days -- our project closes down on Friday. But for now -- a day off for the crew! Check back with us on Monday evening for another update.