Hampden Heritage

Archaeology, History, and Heritage in Central Baltimore

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

update from Falls Rd.

Well, we've been at the site on Falls Rd. for a week now, and while we're really just getting started, we think that this will turn out to be a great site. We spent the first several days digging shovel test pits (STPs) all over the property. Unlike our usual 1x1 meter test units, STPs are round holes about a foot and half in diameter that we excavate non-stratigraphically. (That just means that we don't separate the artifacts we find in STPs based on the level they came from.) While most archaeologists don't really like digging STPs (including our Youthworks interns), they are a very useful tool for quickly exploring a site and examining the hot spots where we are likely to find really good stuff.

In this case, the STPs have indeed given us a good idea about where we should (and should not) concentrate our efforts. Fortunately, there are at least a couple of areas that seem to have intact deposits from the late 19th/early 20th century, and we've even found some artifacts that seem to be quite a bit older, which we weren't expecting. We opened up our first 1x1 meter unit today, so we haven't gotten very far yet, but in the next few days we should have another update, hopefully with exciting news.


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