Results from July 7, 2006

Another day of "perfect weather" for archaeology -- at least as far as Tennessee in June is concerned! We really couldn't ask for better for the last day of our project for 2006. But, we'll ask at least for the same next year when we return for another summer dig :-)

When Emily and I arrived this morning a bit after 7:00, we discovered our white feral cat friend hunting his way across the field towards out excavation units... While it might be a coincidence, we suspect he may have internet access -- and was interested in our little bird mascot mentioned on our web pages a few days ago. He fled on our drive-by.

Thanks to the intensive work of our student crew today, we finished off our excavations at the wall-trench house today. All of our careful drawings and paperwork are completed, photographs done, and we're ready to return these ancient features to the protection of their earth covering.

The photograph below is looking south along the west wall of this building...

While we have touched only a small percent of this building, we have found all four walls and three of the corners. The same photo below shows the west wall trenches in blue, the north wall trenches in yellow, and the south wall trench in white. We'll retain these same colors through the next series of photos...

Looking towards the southeast, another angle on this building.

The same photo below shows the south wall in white, the west wall in blue, and the central support posts outlined in black.

And finally, looking towards the east, a final angle on this building.

The same photo below shows the south wall in white, the west wall in blue, the north wall in yellow, and the east wall in red.

We're pleased with what we were able to uncover and discover about this building in 2006 -- much more will remain for future years.

Over on the western edge, several of us worked our "hinies" off -- as quickly as we could while still keeping up with our records and doing full justice to this important feature from circa A.D. 1250. We were able to complete a much better outline of the feature by the end of the day.

The 20 plus wheelbarrows of midden that we removed today from this feature yielded an enormous amount of pottery, flint, and other artifacts. And yet, with sadness, we were not quite able to finish every part of the feature. It does seem to be a below-ground circular building with an entrance on the east-southeast. The photo below shows the outline as finished today.

In order to finish out our excavation project today, we had to stop our excavations here before we were completely finished -- we needed time to do our maps, drawings, photographs and other recording. We'll come back to this area in the future for further investigation.

Behind the archaeological scene today, our crew members also finished our "close-down" work -- dismantling our shelters and packaging them carefully for next year's students.

And getting our excavation units ready for backfilling. All of our excavations will be filled back with the soil we removed to restore the landscape to its appearance when we arrived. Below the ground, however, our excavations are lined with plastic -- to mark these areas permanently as places we have already investigated. The photo below shows several of our excavation units as we left them today.

Thanks to our friends the Garrotts, we have a front-end loader at our disposal for finishing up the "heavy work" of filling our excavations on Saturday morning.

Although today was the last official day of our summer field class -- I appreciate the many students who volunteered to show up for one more day on Saturday to help with the backfilling. That extra effort gave us the time to do justice to the important places and things we discovered this summer. In only five weeks, we've discovered a great deal about this ancient Tennessee Town. Thanks to the purchase of this site by the State of Tennessee -- our tiny window will not be the last into this ancient site before it is destroyed. Many years and decades of future students, archaeologists, and interested citizens will be able to visit, contemplate, and investigate the mysteries of what was the first "county seat" of Sumner County.

A great crew on a great project.

And now -- we close off for Summer 2006. Check back with us again in Summer 2007 for another project at Castalian Springs.