May 31st: Where Things Stand Before a Week Long Break

Students making quick work of the overburden in 101.T7.

The last day before our long (9 days!) break so I could go present a paper in Seattle was focused on two trenches, 100.T2 and 101.T7. We opened up T7 in order to see if the orientation of the wash house works moved west from 101.T4. The top half of the unit had a lot of overburden to deal with so we took to using shovels there. The southern half looked to be just overlying wood features so we went at that with trowels. In both cases these decisions out right.

Here is how 101.T7 and 101.T3 looked going into the long break. Note the north-south oriented sill beam running underneath the large wooden plank in T7.

The north half contained a lot of burnt wood fragments, nails and bits of corroded iron. The eastern side contained the slanted boards and nozzle discussed in the last (non-tours related) post. The western side continued down a good 30-40 cm before striking any surface. In the center, the sediment never stopped. Whatever surface there was here was either removed or well below any other surface we’d so far come across.

The surface on the west side was a large beam running north to south. Along its east side were the remains of plank siding. These were extremely fragile and it was decided to work around them and leave a good amount of sediment to hold them in place. Our best guess at this point was that we had found the sill/eastern foundation of Warren’s mill including what was left of that building’s siding.

In the southern half of 101.T7 a very large board was found by Nick. This board was over 50 cm across and nearly 2 meters in length (at least of what was exposed in this trench-it continued into the south sidewall).  At first this board looked to be floor or surface that fell over on its side (it sloped east to west with east being highest). we would have to wait until after the break to find out if we were right.

Taking down the trough in 100.T2.

100.T2 was closed (for the time being) after realizing that the trough running east-west in the south half of the trench unit didn’t seem to have a man-made bottom. After digging down nearly 75 cm, it was decided to call it closed until other areas nearby could be opened up to determine the next course of action in this trench.

So going into the long break we had 4 trench units open with three of them for the most part finished. We knew that when we got back new ground would need to be opened and a lot of drawings made of those areas already opened.

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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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