Results from June 14, 2007


And yet another beautiful day at Castalian Springs -- the temperature keeps edging up, but the humidity continues to be low and the pleasant breezes continue to take most of the edge off.

In the early morning, we often run across some of our neighbors on the property -- it is truly rewarding to see that the purchase of this property by the State of Tennessee is not only preserving this ancient Native American town but also providing a safe haven for wildlife. This morning, we encountered our two bunnies that live next to the dairy shed (a nearly daily event).

A little before 8:00 am, two of our deer friends were grazing just north of our excavation area -- below Noriko enjoys watching them. They came back through the field about 2:30 or so.

Today, our excavations continued on the wall-trench structure. We are now convinced that this building is an incredibly significant part of this ancient Native American town. It clearly was not just an average run-of-the-mill house for a family living at the Castalian Springs town some 800 years ago or so. We are convinced this was a community building of some kind -- a community center, shrine, or other type of "special building" that was so important to the citizens of this ancient community that they built it again and again on the same spot for over 100 years.

We began investigating the wall trenches described yesterday -- excavations of the first of ten trenches clearly revealed that these are trenches for a structure.

Having finished re-excavating our units from last year, one of the trenches on the northwest corner of this structure clearly lines up with our new trench. And, the limestone wedges from last year and this year also match up nicely.

On the south wall(s) of this structure, we also finished some new excavations -- revealed yet another wall trench.

We also started expanding our investigations around the central support posts from last year -- directly to the north, we encountered what seems almost certainly to be yet another large roof support post (last years are shown in yellow -- the new one is shown in blue).

There are a couple of other features in this unit that appear to be another posthole and perhaps a hearth/firepit.

As we proceed, this structure continues to tell us that it is large, complex and something very very important to this ancient community. Our work will continue over the next three weeks to expand our understanding of what this building was and what it meant to the folks that inhabited this town 800 years ago or so. Our revised plan is shown below -- it will change daily as we gather more information.

More on Friday!