Moving on

Unit 4, excavated. The midden (Feature 4) runs from the top left (SW) to bottom right (NE). Most of the dark areas are excavated postholes. We are most intrigued by the line of 5 large postholes (one is against the east wall) that do not currently appear to be part of an architectural structure.

Today, we finished our excavations in Unit 4. We fully excavated the exposed midden (about 75-80% of the entire feature, based on the magnetometry result). We individually excavated each posthole and stain. We removed a column of sediment for flotation. And we got most of the backfilling done before calling it a day. The artifacts were many, the stratigraphy (a.k.a. the laying of the dirt) was pretty straight forward, and it was a good run. But now, we are shifting focus to dig a trench through the earthwork.

The first of several 1x1 meter squares in the earthwork trench (Unit 6). Already, we're noticing interesting soil colors and possible postholes (the dark gray-brown circles and semi-circles; the hole in the top right was from the auger).

We’ve laid out the units for the trench, and have begun excavating the middle one. This more-or-less test unit will provide to profile walls, from which we can trace back the natural levels of the feature. Already, we are noticing interesting things about this area. The sediment here is much sandier and much more speckled with mica in other units. Additionally, all of the diagnostic artifacts coming out of this feature appear to date to the Middle Woodland Connestee phase. We hope to be able to report more on these deposits in the next few days.

About Alice Wright

Alice is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Appalachian State University. She tweets about archaeology, Appalachia, and cats @alicepwright.
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One Response to Moving on

  1. Bennie Keel says:

    The mottled area around the post holr on Unit 4 deserves exploration. It maybe a pit going down into the yellow clay.

    I wonder if the sandy micaceous sediments mention above are similar to the fill of the post holes of the structure we identified under the mound?

    Can’t wait to see it in person.


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