Today was a very busy day at the site. Not only did we make some great discoveries, but the Grant County Archaeological Society, and also Dr. Darrell Creel (along with his wife and a friend from Silver City) visited us today.
Excavation in Unit 18 today consisted of more fill removal. Yesterday, I had mentioned that the south side, where Erin is working, had a different fill than on the north side, where Lonnie and Natalie are working. It did not take long for the fill difference to disappear. So, the difference, while likely significant, was limited to the uppermost levels of Unit 18. Although the crew working in Unit 18 has not defined a surface yet, they did find plenty of neat artifacts today. On the south side of the unit, Erin found a whole pot, broken into large pieces and deposited as one concentration. We likely have most of the pieces of the pot, and will be able to reconstruct it. The sherd concentration was not resting on a surface, so it seems that around 1100 years ago someone broke a pot, and then dumped it into the trash. Lonnie and Natalie also found some cool artifacts on the north side of the unit. Along with an obsidian projectile point, they found the foot of a ceramic effigy (we can’t exactly tell what type of animal the foot came from). Overall, it was another successful day in Unit 18. The crew made excellent progress removing more fill. We still don’t know quite what to anticipate, so we are working slowly. It really is interesting to excavate a later occupation on top of what we know is an earlier pithouse.
With the help of Dr. Creel, we may finally have begun to understand what we have found in the great kiva. Yesterday, I mentioned that we found a big block of adobe in the eastern profile of the unit. We continued to define that adobe today. There is a noticeable break on the north side of the adobe; fill simply falls away from it with the slightest brush. Thus, the adobe definitely is part of architecture. We now think that we may have found the east wall of the great kiva. To the north, where the adobe stops, is the ramp entry to the kiva. The ramp aligns nicely with the ash scatter we found in Unit 12, which now almost certainly appears to have been part of a hearth. When we were excavating in Unit 12 we were not able to define any rock or adobe lining for the ash, so we were not certain we had a hearth. However, I think part of the hearth is still under Unit 19; we will hopefully be able to expose it on Wednesday. The crew still is about 25 centimeters above the floor; we should be able to expose the floor in Unit 19 on Wednesday, and see how it articulates with the wall in eastern profile of the unit. I am very glad that we finally are starting to understand what we’ve found in the great kiva!
As I mentioned, the Grant County Archaeological Society visited us at Woodrow today. It was great to show the site to so many enthusiastic people. As I told the GCAS, giving tours of Woodrow Ruin is easy; the site really does speak for itself. It is always great to see how impressed everyone is with the artifacts on the surface of the site. I’m glad I have the opportunity to show everyone this one-of-a-kind archaeological site!