Hampden Heritage

Archaeology, History, and Heritage in Central Baltimore

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Days 2 and 3--Progress!

At the end of third day, we are finally making progress and beginning to find some interesting stuff. In the unit where we are hoping to find the privy, we discovered yesterday that the first layer comes down onto two different layers--stratigraphic level 2, which consists of three mounds (one large, two small) of hard-packed sandy loam, surrounded by stratigraphic level three, a mixture of orangish clay and the the same kind of soil that is usually the top layer in a yard. This morning Diamond and I (Bob) excavated strat 2, and as we suspected, it comes down right to strat 3 and has very few artifacts (a few pieces of brick and charcoal and one glass shard). We then began shoveling out strat 3, but discovered that it quickly comes down on the next layer, stratigraphic level 4. Diamond spent most of the day valiantly screening the dirt from strat 3 while I tried to clean up the unit and get it down to strat 4 all across. Unfortunately for Diamond, there were again very few artifacts in strat 3--mostly coal and charcoal, with a few pieces of glass, rubber, and a nail. We didn't quite finish the paperwork for strat 3 before the end of the day, but tomorrow we will begin taking out strat 4. It appears that this new layer has a heavy concentration of mica; we are currently surmising that strat 3 was put down over this layer as a way to cap it, so as to prevent accidental injury on a pile of mica dumped there from elsewhere on the site.

Over in the other unit, where we are hoping to find the remains of an outbuilding, Dave, Thomas and Jacinda worked all day to get down to the layer below the cement block they discovered on the first day. They were rewarded by finding a feature below the second stratigraphic layer in that unit. It appears to be big enough that it might, indeed, be the footprint of a former outbuilding.

Stay tuned for further updates, and pictures from our first week! And remember, we welcome visitors at any time that we are in the field, and if you are interested in volunteering to help us dig or wash and catalog artifacts, contact us at hampdenarchy@yahoo.com.


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