Hampden Heritage

Archaeology, History, and Heritage in Central Baltimore

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Dig Day #2

Well, our second Public Dig Day of the summer this past Saturday was slightly better attended than our first one, but it was still not as successful as we had hoped. Perhaps the heat kept people away. In any event, we did have a great time with the people who did stop by, explaining what we've been doing at the Falls Rd. site and showing off some of our best finds. We'll post some pictures in the near future.

Now half-way through our last week of excavation for the summer, we're almost finished with the Falls Rd. site (although we could probably spend another 6 weeks excavating there if we had the time and money). On Saturday we opened up a unit in the area of the midden that we discovered while doing shovel test pits a few weeks ago. In addition to tons of glass, we've found lots of other stuff that attests to the archaeologist's motto: "One person's trash is another person's treasure." Buttons, ceramic vessel fragments, marbles and other items are leading us to believe that this area was a trash dump for at least one of the houses on the site, if not both (and even maybe a house that once stood next door, as well).

Over within the foundation of the burned-down house, we are in the midst of excavating our third unit. After discovering all those buttons in the top layer of the unit right in front of the hearth, we came down on a trench that was dug for the purpose of laying in a water pipe (which is still in place). Unfortunately, there were no artifacts in the trench, which would have allowed us to date the installation of the pipe. However, in our third unit, which is roughly in the middle of the house, we found the pipe trench continuing, and this time it had plenty of artifacts. None of them are easily datable, however, so it may be a trick trying to find out when this property got its running water.


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