Today was an exciting day at the site that went by more quickly than I could keep up with. We made several promising finds, which hopefully continue into tomorrow.
Unit 2. The crew of Unit 2 spent most of their day cleaning the unit up, defining the burned feature in the western part of the unit, and uncovering the sub-surface rocks in the eastern portion. It is still unclear what the burned feature in the western portion of the unit is, but I now am beginning to think that it may be a burned floor or surface. This begs the question of why one part of the floor is burned, and the other part not. It may be that a beam fell in part of the room and burned, but not in the other. However, we have found no evidence of a beam in our excavations in Unit 2. Regardless, as I mentioned yesterday, we will keep this burned area intact, so as to hopefully get archaeomagnetic dates from it. The crew exposed numerous sub-floor stones in the eastern portion of the room today. We documented these, and will begin to remove them. It seems like we are just now getting down to the Late Pithouse period material below these stones, as we recovered multiple Mogollon Red-on-brown sherds while excavating. I am excited to see what lies beneath these stones, and whether the roomblock was built on top of a pithouse, pithouse period trash, or something else!
Unit 4 provided much exciting material today. The possible adobe/jacal wall mentioned yesterday does now seem to be architectural, albeit poor architecture. We could follow this adobe down during excavation. We also found another piece of imprinted adobe in the unit today. Thus, although the the “wall” isn’t pretty, it is something. What is most interesting is the difference between fill on either side of the wall. Much burned material, such as jacal/adobe, and ceramics are found on the east side of the wall. Little to no burned architectural material is found on the west side. In addition, the west side seems to have much more “trashy” material (bones, ceramics, lithics, etc). At the end of the day we also came across an interesting fill change in the west side of the unit. Level 5 had a lot of artifacts, but these seemed to be small in size. The ceramics, while mixed, did tend to be Mimbres Style I/II. Level 5 was terminated when a natural stratigraphic break was noticed. The soil became darker, and full of larger ceramics. I just got done looking at these artifacts at home, and the majority of them are Mogollon Red-on-brown, or other Redwares. Thus, it seems like level 6 is trash from the pithouse period. At this point it is unclear what exactly we are coming down on, but it most likely dates to the pithouse period (fingers crossed for an actual pithouse!)
Unit 5. Unit five was just opened today, so we have not come across anything definitive yet. It is located northwest of Unit 4, in an area we hope has pithouses. Because the unit was just opened up it is hard to say anything about it yet. However, we did notice several large river cobbles that look like they me be part of a wall/wall fall in the eastern profile of the unit. Of course, this will be further examined tomorrow.
We also had Josh and Kyle at the site today, screening more backdirt from the 1950’s Grant County excavations. They have provided me with countless sherds, faunal remains, and lithics. In fact, they may be doing too good of a job, as I am beginning to feel overwhelmed with the amount of artifacts we have recovered!
Overall, it was a very busy, but good day at the site. Tomorrow is our Friday, and I think everyone is looking forward to a very well deserved weekend!
PS-I’m not sure if the fire is growing, or if fire crews are back burning, but we had an awesome/terrifying view of some smoke today. It looked more like a volcano or bomb than a fire.