Defining the Beam
One of the last tasks tackled during excavations at the mill was trying to better understand the purpose and size of the large beam that seems to divide the stamp room and wash house. We’d uncovered this piece of architecture weeks ago but we never fully cleaned it off of all the sediment in order to help preserve it (its much more fragile than it looks-in some places it’s almost rotted through) until the very end of the field season.
Lots of rain the previous Sunday helped us out a lot by saturating the wood and surrounding sediment, thereby defining notches and where sediment could be removed from the fragile wood. We spent the morning cleaning up the beam and found quite a few mortises and post holes in it. this beam definitely supported vertical beams, probably support posts for the southern wall of the stamp room. When we were done the beam looked great, and really stands as an excellent example of the construction techniques of those working at Cliff.