With the closing of the units at the Wye House plantation, we finished the 2011 Archaeology in Annapolis field school excavations. One has only to look at the students’ posts to see how much they learned in six weeks. Thank you for all of your hard work. We’re proud of you, and look forward to hearing about your future scholarly endeavors!
Units 65, 67, and 69 reached sterile soil and closed out early in the week. Unit 66, where the excavators found the brick pier foundation, continued to yield artifacts, including a pile of metal farming implements. On the west side of the cove, the archaeologists expanded Unit 68 with two 5×2 ft. trenches on either side in an attempt to locate a wall of the collapsed Brick Row Quarter. In the eastern trench, this attempt was successful, and the remains of a wall were discovered. You can view the process of measuring out and beginning these trenches in this video created by Benjamin Skolnik.
On Wednesday, we were delighted to welcome WYPR 88.1 producer Katherine Gorman, who put together a piece on our excavations. You can listen to the broadcast at the Maryland Morning website.
On Thursday, students enjoyed a lecture from Amanda Tang on faunal (bone) analysis, and Ben and I took nine soil samples from the furnace room of the Wye greenhouse for pollen analysis. The furnace was the heat source of a hypocaust system, which allowed a sophisticated coordination in the heating of the building. The soil has been dug into, exposing a profile in the wall across from the furnace, which enabled me to easily take samples from the multiple levels without the need to dig any units. From the large quantity of samples I have taken these past three weeks, we will need to choose which ones to send away for analysis.
Though the field school excavations have come to a close, our archaeological work continues in the lab, as we wash, catalog, and study the artifacts we have gathered.