After four days of unseasonably awesome weather, it’s raining in Canton. But, if you’re going to wait out some thunder showers, you may as well do it at the local grocery store while updating the blog.
Last week, Scott Ashcraft and I finished excavating a large refuse pit inside the ditch enclosure. The pit consists of two main zones of fill (and an rodent burrow). The lower zone reminds me of the lowest fills of the earthwork ditch: subtle lenses of light yellow and dark gray clay loam, with few artifacts. I think this might indicate that the original pit may have filled in slowly, through erosion, over time. The upper zone, in contrast, is dark and homogeneous, with heavy charcoal flecking and numerous Connestee (late Middle Woodland) ceramic sherds.
This pit, about two meters from the interior edge of the ditch, is surrounded by numerous postholes. In a small, 2×3 m unit, we’ve excavated more than 25 of these round stains, which vary in diameter from 10-20 cm, and in depth from 15-50 cm below the plowzone. I’ve recorded the locations, dimensions, and fill characteristics of these posts in the hope that I might tease out which ones go with the same building, rack, screen, or other structure — we’ll see! What’s clear at this point, at least, is that the enclosed area demarcated by the ditch was intensively reused, possibly by groups regularly coming together at the site for visits and ceremonies.
The rain appears to be stopping (famous last words), so back to the site it is! Please keep your fingers crossed for dry weather for the last few days of fieldwork!