New Excavation Begun

A whole lotta rubble (mostly charred wood and nails) made up Level 1 of Unit 8. Of note is the large and intact piece of punch-plate in the northern (at right) profile. Since it’s sticking into the wall we can’t remove it yet. We need to excavated the Unit at right in order to do that. The punch-plate was likely used (along with many more similar pieces) in a trough or table designed to filter out copper from water and crushed rock.

After yesterday’s rain-out we lucked out and had perfect weather for excavation at the mill. The weather was terrible for photos however. Sun is your enemy in excavation. It’s very difficult to make out subtle differences in sediment composition and color when everything is washed out under the bright sun.

Today marked the completion of our new Unit’s (#8) Level 1. This unit is on the eastern end of the wash-house and we’re hoping somewhere under all that rubble lies a stone foundation wall. At first, we thought perhaps those stones at the bottom of the photo were part of the wall, but as you can see, many charred wood fragments are lying under the stones, meaning that those stones are most likely more recent arrivals. Once we drew the unit and its contents, I decided to move to the north (right in the photo) and bring down that Unit (#7) to the same depth. It’s currently anywhere from 40-90 cm higher than Unit 8 so we need to take it down now before it loses integrity and starts falling into Unit 8. Since it is much higher and we know what to expect, Unit 9 can be excavated with matics and shovels instead of trowels, meaning it should be pretty quick work.

Now for two days off and then back at it on Wednesday.

An example of the number and variety of nails found at the site in the uppermost layers.


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About Sean Gohman

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

One response to “New Excavation Begun”

  1. gary singer says :

    Wow this looks like a very interesting dig

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