Today was absolutely fantastic from beginning to end! The weather was warm with a cool breeze, the soil was soft but not muddy, and Dr. Means surprised us all with doughnuts first thing in the morning! We started the day with a fresh new context, the plowzone, and as soon as our shovels hit the dirt we started finding ceramics! Each one seemed to be a different size and color, and some even had ornate designs and molding. As we collected them I tried my hand at identifying what type of ceramic each piece was, and I got most of them right! We had a large piece of American stoneware, several small pieces of creamware with hand painted flowers on them, some whiteware, and even a piece of porcelain. The most exciting find today was a unique piece that had a pointing hand molded on it. We took it to our ceramics expert, Mara, but even she was perplexed by it. She said that it looked plastic but behaved like a ceramic, and that she wouldn’t be able to tell for certain until she had it in the lab. A professor from Temple University was also present at the time and mentioned that the pointing hand may be a religious symbol, like those found on many tombstones. In any case, it was very exciting and I hope they’ll let us know when they figure out what it is. We also found a lot of nails, some very old glass, a huge tooth, some pipe stems, a piece of pewter, and metal button cover!
We made some great progress with the unit today, too. We got all the way through the plowzone to the subplowzone, which is the last layer of the unit! We will be finishing it on Friday, as tomorrow we’ll be spending the day in Washington D.C. I’m still amazed by how quickly this one has gotten done, and by how much more confident I am in getting through it.
This afternoon one intern’s mom brought everyone popsicles, which was just icing on top of an already perfect day! I can’t believe how much fun I had today, and how great it felt to come up with all of those artifacts! I love digging, and I absolutely love archaeology. I can’t wait to make it my career!
(A collection of artifacts we found today. From left to right they are: A wrought iron nail, a tooth, a piece of pewter, a pipe stem fragment, a large piece of American stoneware, a piece of whiteware, the pointing hand piece, a very old piece of glass, and three pieces of creamware with hand painted flowers.)