Monday, August 1, 2016

N34 E12

Hi, everyone,
This is Gary, one of the field school students from last year, and I’ve returned this summer as a volunteer field assistant. In addition to providing logistical support for the archaeological project, I’ve also been given the opportunity to work side by side with local resident Mary Ellen Drolet in an excavation unit located at North 34 East 12, which is the same 1x2 meter, river front, excavation unit that field school student Amelia Harp and I were flooded out of last summer during the heavy June rains. Interestingly, I blogged about how much I liked the physical location of this unit last summer. However, while this unit is extremely close to the St. Joseph River today, during the time of French occupation, the river would have been located much farther to the north, and this unit’s location would have been elevated well above the floodplain, making it an ideal location for dry habitation and “canoe parking.” 
A photo of my flooded unit last year. (Photo Credit: John Cardinal)

The reason North 34 East 12 is being excavated is not because it has a nice view of the river, however. The reason it is, once again, being excavated is to determine whether there is any evidence of foundation stones running through it. Meaning that, one of the ongoing research questions at FSJ is determining the size of the structures and dwellings that the French fur traders constructed and utilized. With this goal in mind, several past excavation units to the south of North 34 East 12 have uncovered sections of stone foundations as well as a fireplace feature, all of which were carefully documented and photographed. Accordingly, Mary Ellen and I hope to uncover another section of this foundation, or maybe even the foundations corner, so that we can help fill in the research gaps.
Working with Mary Ellen Drolet. (Photo Credit: Austin George)
While I can only hypothesize that Mary Ellen and I will eventually uncover a section of stone foundation this summer, I can tell you what we have uncovered so far. As of Friday, Mary Ellen and I have excavated North 34 East 12 down to a depth of 47 cm (18.5 inches), and recovered the following artifacts: fire cracked rock, baked clay, animal teeth and bone fragments, calcined bone fragments (burned bone), seed beads, tinkling cones, lead shoot, lead musket balls, pipe stem fragments, glass fragments, ceramic fragments, a musket cleaning attachment (gun worm), several nails, and miscellaneous copper and iron fragments. 

– Gary

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And, that is just the plow zone . .