Day 11: Hurry Up and Wait…


Today was a very productive day at Woodrow Ruin! Archaeology is often a game of hurry up and wait. The morning started off slow; all of the crews were mapping, cleaning, and shaking of the rust of our weekend. By early afternoon, however, we began to make some very interesting discoveries, seemingly all at once.

Unit 2. Today, the crew in Unit 2 continued to clear the very rocky fill beneath the floor of the Classic occupation floor. By the end of the day, it seemed like they had finally started to reach the bottom of this rocky fill. Although some rocks are still present, the stone density has decreased. Additionally, the fill began to change. It became redder in color, harder, and included many more pieces/flecks of charcoal. The artifact density continued to be about the same, with Redwares, Mogollon Red-on-brown, and Mimbres Style I being the most common. Most interestingly, we found/realized that a large stone standing upright in the fill was actually a metate (pictured below). All of these pieces of evidence lead me to believe that we are coming down into a new type of fill. It seems possible that the crew is coming down on rooffall in a Late Pithouse period structure. Tomorrow we will see if this hypothesis is validated.

Unit 2 at End of Day

Metate Diving into Fill of Unit 2


Unit 4. Unit 4 continues to remain intriguing and exciting. We began the day moving slowly, clearing what appeared to be floor/surface in the western 2/3rds of the unit. Although it was in poor shape: absent in some areas, present in others, and not level, it did seem like a surface. After this surface was photographed, mapped, and documented, we decided to remove it to see what lay beneath. Erin put in a small test window, and only 5 cm down, she uncovered a very nice floor. Whereas other surfaces/floors we have uncovered so far were in poor shape, and were questionable, this undoubtedly is a floor! Along with the surface being hard, consistent, and level, we found several flat-laying sherds. It is exciting to actually see a real floor! It now seems undoubted that we are inside a transitional period room. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a hearth on the portion of the floor we uncovered. However, once we finish Unit 4, we will add another unit on, and hopefully identify a hearth.

Floor of Unit 4

Unit 5. After a quite morning of excavation, we decided to remove much of the baulk/wall fall present in Unit 5. It was a good decision to do so. What before seemed like a jumbled up mess, with perhaps some alignment, seems much more like a wall now. The top-most layer of what appears to be a wall consists of river cobbles, with nicely faced adobe below it.  During their excavations today, the crew of Unit 5 hit an ashy pocket. At first we thought it may be a hearth, but it was not sitting on a floor. It also was in poor shape, and although some adobe was found near it, it did not seem to be formally constructed. Thus, it most likely was an ash dump. However, at the bottom the ash deposited we found a large, nicely modified sherd. It is possible that the feature was an informal extramural hearth. At the end of the day the crew came across a strip of adobe that may be part of another wall, however, it is running diagonal from the wall above it. Therefore, if the newly discovered adobe is truly the remnants of a wall, we have a later structure superimposed on an earlier one. As always, we will have to see what tomorrow brings!

Unit 5 at End of Day

Top of adobe wall (running diagonal across top of picture)?



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