This past week was one of our busiest weeks yet. Now into our fourth week we have moved away from the hearth to a site just north of it. We opened several new units and made a lot of progress in each of them. On Monday Carin was sick and rather then leaving the very capable Jess in charge of 10 students we got the day off. But we were ready to start work on Tuesday. We spent the day opening new units and looking for changes in the soil. The units in the middle could possibly be the floor to the huts, which we would be able to see by changes in soil color and texture. We opened up a unit at the north end that was filled with rocks. As we dug deeper we discovered these rocks were chimney fall.
On Wednesday we spent the morning digging but by lunchtime rain was threatening to hit. After our lunch break we headed to Temple do re-bag the artifacts we washed last week. We learned how to label a bag properly so Carin and Jesse can catalog them later on. With the ten of all working on it we were able to get all of them re-bagged and relabeled, which made Carin and Jesse pretty happy.
Thursday we closed out the unit with all the rocks and moved to the unit just above it, which seems to have more rocks than the first one. It looks very promising. In other units we found a pieces of redware ceramic. This particular piece of ceramic was very regional to Philadelphia and could also indicate status of the person staying in the hut. A person of higher status like an officer, might have had something nicer to eat off of like the tin glazed ceramics we found earlier in the dig, where as an enlisted man would have had the redware which was more common. We also found a Musket ball. This is the second one that has been found since we started digging this summer. It appears to have been rammed into the gun but never fired.
Friday morning we got a visit for Joe Blondino, one of the excavators from George Washington’s Headquarters, a dig held earlier this summer at Valley Forge. He put a tarp over the site to help block out the sunlight and make it easier for Carin and Jesse to see the possible soil changes. Dr Orr came by along with another Temple Grad student named Lou who had worked on the site in previous summers. They were able to give Carin and Jesse a different perspective on the things and their ideas as to where the hut floor might be. Towards the end of the day a very exciting discovery was made. Carin and Jess took a look at the unit with all the rocks in it and discovered 3 of the rocks were flat. When we cleaned around it a little better we realized that we had found a hearth. This is a very exciting and important find. It says we definitely have a hut, and it can help them figure out the dimensions of the hut. Just a week before our Public Archaeology day this will give us something really neat to show them. We are even more excited to dig next week with the discovery of the hearth. Who knows what we will find in our last two weeks.