Today marked the end of our second week at the site. I can’t believe we’ve already been excavating for 10 days, and the project is just about halfway done! Like usual, we made some excellent progress today, and are really starting to understand the site.
The crew in Unit 5 spent the day removing the excess baulk along the east wall from last year. Doing this really helped us understand the stratigraphy of the pithouse. Like some of the other things I’ve tried to describe, explaining what we’ve learned is a little hard to do via a blog. I’ll do my best. Basically, we found a distinct vertical stratigraphic break along the east profile face. The northern 2/3rd of the profile is full of cobbles, ceramics, mammal bones, and other “trashy” fill. The fill in the southern 1/3rd has few cobbles, is finer and sandier, and has fewer artifacts. Thus, we have two different depositional histories in the units. Currently, the best explanation I have for the different stratigraphy is that the northern part of the unit is in the ramp, and the southern half is along the pithouse’s architectural wall. Figuring out the architecture of the pithouse is great. However, we also found a burnt corncob today! This is the first piece of corn we have excavated at Woodrow.
By the end of the day almost the entire floor in Unit 5 had been exposed. It should be fully uncovered by the end of our next day (our Monday, everyone else’s Wednesday).
Unit 15 also made excellent progress today. For the most part, the day was spent removing overburden from the Unit. We did expose more of the hard-packed adobe surface from the historic period (we found a few more pieces of tin in it). After this was documented it was removed, and the crew worked on digging down to the surface we found in Unit 12 yesterday. By the end of the day the crew had reached the large stones that appear to be wall fall above the surface.
The crew in Unit 14 was able to expose surface throughout the unit today. Although we did not find any architecture, we did find several flat-laying sherds. After the floor was uncovered and documented we covered it back up, and established a new unit, Unit 16. This is a 1 x 2 meter unit with the long axis running north to south; it is directly south of unit 13 and west of Unit 14. With any luck, we will find more of the adobe wall in Unit 16. In fact, right at the end of the day we found what appears to be adobe in the SW corner of the unit.
Overall, we had another excellent week at the site. It really is amazing how much we learned in a week!