Bottom Reached!

101.T7 after the large board was removed. The Warren's Mill sill is very visible on the left side. The hole to the building's bottom is at center right.After weeks of excavation and wondering just where the bottom of the building was, we finally think we found it. Earlier in the week in 101.T7 we cut out a large board of wood that was preventing us from continuing our excavations downward. Now with it gone we could go at it with shovels and start moving some earth.

The wood sill associated with Warren’s Mill (discussed in earlier posts such as those made on June 13th and 30th) continued through the unit on the left-hand side running north and south. So too did the board and batten siding. To the right of this, the trench was mostly devoid of anything structural until we reached just past 1 meter in depth. Here, a distinct soil changed occurred, as grey stamp sand transitioned to a reddish stamp sand (this transition can be seen in the Soil Peel post of July 9th). Along with the soil change, wood features were also discovered at this same depth. Could these two things be related? Probably, once you consider what we found.

The broken post is visible at center. Note how the soil profile visible under the clip board alternates between grey and red stamp sand. Also note how those changes correspond to the break in the post and then the post's joint with the beam. Water can also be seen and under this about 20-30 cm is the very bottom.

The first structural element we found was a broken off wood post (at 1 meter depth) mortised into a horizontal beam about 1.6 meters depth. At this depth, the soil changed back to a grey stamp sand. Below the beam, down about another 20 cm, we finally it water, and then using touch instead of sight, a wood bottom. Unfortunately we didn’t have a water pump to remove the water and could never see the bottom but we could feel that this was likely the very beginning of the building’s structural foundation (roughly 2 meters below surface). This “bottom” appears at this point to line up favorably with the stone floor and foundation wall found in 101.T6. Once the overview drawings are made a more accurate assessment can be made.


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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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