May 27th, Continued: the Western Extent of Excavation

Nick, Gary, and Eric take down the top layer in 101.T7.

The last item on the agenda for one of our busiest days yet, May 27th, was to open up what turned out to be the westernmost trench unit in the stamp mill/wash house, 101.T7. Originally we designed the excavation to just run in one line down the length of the two buildings. We soon found in 101.T3 that the flow of material was heading west, and that excavations were required in this direction in order to follow the “flow”

As with 101.T3, there was a lot of fill and overburden to work through before we reached a working surface. However, it turned out there wasn’t a working surface where we expected it to be. Instead, the fill layer continued past the working surface level in 101.T3 (this is visible in the photo above where Gary is kneeling below the level of the working surface at the bottom of the frame). This curious fact was pretty confusing at first, but in the coming days it became apparent as to why this was. The building of Warren’s Mill radically altered this part of the earlier mill building.

Here can be seen the vertical board with the slanted groove where the funneling boards were slotted. Also note the nozzle where the slanted boards meet.

Again, artifacts mostly consisted of nails and iron fragments along with charred pieces of wood and wood fragments. One feature that became more clearly defined was the funneling boards discussed in the June 16th post, “A Curious Device.” The slanted board uncovered in 101.T3 is mirrored in 101.T7, though this half is in very poor condition. At the middle, where the two slanted boards meet along the vertical, grooved board, there is a nozzle. This is likely where water/material discharged onto the funneling boards, its destination still to be determined.

All in all a very productive day (and week for that matter). Going into the weekend we just hoped that good weather would keep the site in good condition. This was the first time we’d have to leave the site unattended for a long time while having a lot of ground open to excavation.


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About Sean Gohman

Currently a PhD Degree seeking student in the Michigan Tech University's Industrial Heritage and Archaeology program.

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