Archaeology in Annapolis has been a blast this past week and a half. I’ve learned so much more about Archaeology and the process of Archaeology in the past week than AI thought I would ever know.
There have been many quick adventures and learning curves; such as immediately breaking a shovel. On the first day. But, it was a great experience to go through so that we know how to act and react when a situation arises, with a little bit of improvisation (we had to use a flat head shovel instead), and some modified filed notes (because we changed the type of shovel we were using, we had a slightly large STP); the Standard Test Pit (STP) we had been digging went on to be completed successfully. STPs are designed to do exactly that, test the area, or survey the area to determine whether or not a site is in fact present, usually determined by whether or not there are artifacts present- an artifact being any item that has been acted upon by a human (if a natural resource), or pieces of an object, if not a whole object, that belonged to a human such as discarded toys, ceramics, pipes, tools, etc.
After the tiny mishap on day one, I get assigned to Unit 5; which is a lovely little 5 X 5 (5 feet by 5 feet). The space that we are digging was selected for a unit because when we were digging STPs we found artifacts such as coal, brick, and other material items of interest in that particular area in the yard. I and my unit mates are told that we are digging in what was allegedly a garden at one time. Interestingly, some of the artifacts that we are finding, and some of the layers of dirt actually seem to verify the idea. Such as we dug down into a layer of ash, which may have been in the so called garden to promote healthier soil for plants to thrive in. We have also recovered seemingly obscene amounts of coal inclusions, and continue to find more coal as we dig through more layers.
In addition to things that support the theory that there was a garden in or near the spot we are digging in, we have also found other potentially random artifacts, including brick, glass, and fragments of ceramics, pennies, and old rusty nails. There have also been fragments of hard plastic in some of the levels.
I am very curious about what all the bricks, which appear to be random inclusions, got to where they did and why they are in that formation since they do appear to be buried in a random pattern; and I look forward to digging more to see what else we can find.