Special Guests at Garden Creek

The UNC crew huddling around Tim's computer in the snow, checking out the latest geophysical survey results.

Despite the wind and snow, we got quite a bit of work done at Garden Creek this week, thanks in large part to the return of UM graduate student Ashley Schubert and the assistance of several more graduate students from the University of North Carolina’s Research Laboratories of Archaeology. With their help, we were able to remove the sod and plowzone over two new units near Mound No. 2.

David and Erin working in Unit 10.

David Cranford and Erin Nelson tackled the first unit, which targeted a circular anomaly that yielded a considerable amount of charcoal in a small core. The feature was immediately visible under a relatively shallow plowzone, and subsequent excavation yielded several Middle Woodland sherds and soil samples that will be floated to recover botanical remains.

Top of pit feature in Unit 10, at the base of the plowzone.

The excavated pit in Unit 10, south profile.

In the backyard, Meg Kassabaum and Anna Semon opened up a 4×1 m trench over two anomalies. A number of ceramic sherds and chert and crystal quartz flakes were recovered from the plowzone. Ashley and I finished cleaning off this unit today, and will begin excavating its features soon.

Meg and Anna working in Unit 11. By this time, it had thankfully stopped snowing and the sun had come out.

Unit 11 at the base of plowzone. The eastern feature is visible near the bottom of the photo; the western feature is in the shadow of the wall at the top.

While all this was going on, Tim continued to expand the magnetometer and magnetic susceptibility surveys. He also completed ground penetrating radar survey across nearly 0.9 hectares, over and around the earthwork enclosures. On Wednesday, he was able to show some of the results to visiting archaeologists from the National Forests of North Carolina, who contributed much appreciated interpretive insights about our ongoing fieldwork.

Friends from the Forest Service along the Pigeon River, where they (with the help of local landowner Tom Anspach) recently identified some rock art associated with the prehistoric occupations of Garden Creek.

Tim will be here for two more days, so the geophysical investigations at Garden Creek are coming to a close. Luckily, the data he’s generated has located a number of interesting features that will be the focus of activity for the next few weeks.

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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.
This entry was posted in Excavation, Features, Geophysics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Special Guests at Garden Creek

  1. It was an absolutely wonderful time! Thanks for all the hospitality, Alice! I’ll post some more pictures soon.

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