Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chase House Excavation, Day Three

All of our diggers are doing great.  We continue to find broken bits of ceramics, glass, and animal bones.  We have also located several pieces of buried metal, which might turn out to be some interesting artifacts once they are better exposed.  Yesterday in the kitchen-ell unit Lauren, one of our field school participants, discovered a curved metal flower and Rebecca, another field school participant, continued to discover more parts to two tea cups in her unit.

We are still having a problem with flooded units, most likely due to the high water table.  We were able to pump some of the water out in hopes to see the bottom of the privy, but we could not keep up with the water.  Hopefully in a couple of days the water table will drop and we can get to the bottom of the privy.
Allen, one of Sheila’s volunteers, has been putting artifact information into a computer database.  Yesterday he reported that the Chase House excavations for 2008 and 2009 have uncovered over 20,000 artifacts and that he still has many artifacts to catalog!  It will be exciting to find out exactly how many artifacts were recovered from the Chase House once the dig wraps up. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Great First Day at the Chase House

We had a great kick off of the field school today. Everyone arrived on time and ready to go; we got the hay bales out of the units (thanks to several brave diggers), pumped out most of the water that, unfortunatley, flooded several units over the weekend, and straightened out the unit lines.  We managed to get some digging done after cleaning the units of leaves, slugs, and dirt, and have already found some interesting artifacts.  One unit found an almost whole tabacco pipe, another found a shattered tea cup, and there are many animal bones in several units.  One unit is completely flooding with at least 6 inches of water.  Hopefully by tomorrow the water table will have lessened.

Tomorrow we hope for more great weather and another productive day!   

Friday, June 24, 2011

Remote Sensing at Strawbery Banke

The Strawbery Banke Archaeology Department is working with Dr. Peter Sablock and Dr. Jeanette Sablock of Salem State University who are leading a Geological Science class in conducting geophysical surveys (including ground penetrating radar). Beginning in May 2011, the students focused on the grounds of Puddle Dock. They ran transect lines and used equipment, some of which looked a little like push lawn mowers, traveling along Puddle Dock at regular established intervals. This operation is intended to be the first of several remote sensing surveys conducted at Strawbery Banke Museum over the next few years. Two other sites to be investigated in the future are the grounds of the Yeaton Walsh House and the grounds of the former Pecunis House, where a mikvah or Jewish ritual bath was located and used in the early 20th century.
We look forward to learning the results of their research!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Less Than a Week Till the Dig!

Sheila and I are excited to finally have field school right around the corner! We are busy getting everything ready; making addenda’s, getting field kits together, sharpening tools, and finding all the paperwork we will need. We have also checked out the units and are happy to say they have survived the winter pretty well, no major wall collapses or flooding. Those joining us for the dig should have received an email from Sheila with an attachment about the start of the dig and where we will be meeting on Monday.
We hope you have a great rest of the week and will see some of you on Monday!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Welcome Rachel Passannante, 2011 Intern

We are happy to welcome Rachel Passannante who will be our archaeology/collections intern for the Summer of 2011. Rachel is a senior at SUNY Potsdam majoring in Archaeology. Along with helping with our dig at Chase House she will be working on keeping the blog updates, so stay tuned for future updates!