Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Lab work….

February 28, 2009

Although the labwork for the Higginbotham House project began over the summer, we haven’t posted anything about our progress yet. We are slowly working through washing (now wishing we had had more rain days:) and starting to catalogue. As we move forward with this process posts with pictures of artifacts will pop up. Broad interpretations, of course, will have to wait until the database is finished and the historic context is well developed…

Anyway, on to the finds!


Day 6 of Digging

June 7, 2008

On Friday we got a lot done despite the intermittent rain showers in the morning (and Teresa’s unfulfilled promises that it would clear up by 11am).

EU3 is turning out to be a very productive unit in terms of artifacts, producing a lot of historic ceramics, window glass and now, 35cmbd, many articles of personal adornment. In the southwest corner of the unit, along the foundation of the Higginbotham House, we found 5 shell buttons all in the same area. Because the significance of this find was ambiguous, we collected a soil sample and collected the artifacts in this area separately. It is difficult to interpret this find, however, though as we also found two broaches in this level. One in the Northeast corner and the other when looking through the screen. Below is a photograph of one of the broaches which seems to be a cuprous crown-shaped pin (though this might be a belt buckle). We still have no idea when it dates to.

EU4 and EU2 were closed out today. In EU2 Marisa and Kate D hit the C horizon (a yellowish-brown sand) at about 107cmbd. In EU4 Kate J hit C horizon about 72cmbd.

In Eu1/EU6 Ashley and Dave took out the artifacts in the trashpit feature and bagged them. The objects were wrapped in plastic styrofoam material and bagged individually. The milkglass dish was almost complete. Almost 30 cans came out and will later be analyzed for the manufacturing method used. We still haven’t identified the large car-battery-like object from previous posts.

In EU5 Mike chipped away at the complex stratigraphy he is finding. This unit does seem to show some of the similar stratigraphy with EU3 so Mike may find the same variety of artifacts found there. He is already pulling out buttons and found a ferrous toy jack.

Dave and Ashley laid out EU7, EU8, and EU9. EU7 is on the West side of the cottage. EU8 is on the West side of the Garge. EU 9 is on the East side of the Higginbotham House. Although Ashley managed to get through 15 cm of EU7, the other two will be opened on Monday. We are also planning to start STPs around the Hen House on Monday.

Have a great weekend! We are going to Polpis!Cuperous Broach

Rain Day 1

June 4, 2008

Today was our first rain day and we washed a wicked lot of artifacts. Seven hours was more than enough and we will hopefully be back in the field tomorrow.

Our contexts laid out on the floor...

Remote Sensing: Conductivity Survey

May 26, 2008

In August 2006 John Steinberg (UMB), David Landon (UMB), and I (Teresa Dujnic UCB) spent a day doing a conductivity survey at the site in order to find out something about the subsurface deposits. Our hope was that conductivity would be an appropriate technique for subsurface testing due to the geological make-up of Nantucket. As a glacial moraine, the island is composed primarily of sand which is very resistive to electrical current. Archaeological deposits such as privies, postholes, and trashpits would conduct the electricity much more readily, allowing these features to be detected as aberrations in the conductivity reading.

We found some interesting anomalies which may have to do with the well (mentioned in on of the deeds), the fire cistern (mentioned in an 1843 fire marshalls report), or a privy on the site. (Which only makes sense in the absence of indoor plumbing…) We also potentially found an anomaly which runs east-west in the east yard space. This could indicate that there was a hard-packed path running from the Higginbotham House to the yard of the Nantucket African Meeting House.

It is very hard to interpret this data, so all of this will need ground-truthed in the field.