Friday, July 3, 2009

Interns at Work

Since the interns should be waking up from the days of rest they promised themselves after returning home, today I present you with some images of the hard working Heidelberg trio.

Since tomorrow is a weekend, check back then for some less-than-serious-work shots.

Allison drawing the very corner of the blacksmith shop that we excavated eight 5 by 5 foot units in search of.

Allsion and Magen opening a new unit in search of that blacksmith shop. If only we knew then what we know now.

In the foreground, Allison and Carol screening at one of the first units in search of the blacksmith shop. In the background, Katharine and Elsie listening to one of Pete's plans of how much fun he was going to have on his vacation in South Dakota.

Allison helping clean ticks off of chigger-girl (aka Katharine) while Magen supervises. If there is a bug nearby it will find Katharine.

Magen running the flotation tank and sporting her school pride.

Katharine, Jim, and Steve clean up a foundation on the last day of fieldwork.

Katharine demonstrating her troweling skills.

Magen demonstrating her paperwork skills.

Magen demonstrating her trust of Pete's shoveling skills.

Katharine taking out a strat in the rubble feature of the Native American area during the ASM field session.

Thanks again to the interns for al their hard work and for putting up with me 24 hours a day for 5 weeks. Thanks to Heidelberg University for their support of the project and for the use of a university vehicle.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Scenes from the Field Session-2

This photo was taken by Stephanie before I arrived at the field session so I am not sure what units are being excavated here but you can see a dark circular feature to the right of the image. In the background is Mark and his son who provided their services to refill all our excavation units once we were done digging. Backfilling by hand is not a fun task. Mark provided both the machinery and his time to save us a lot of time and energy. Thanks Mark!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A new video!

I sent a new fieldwork video to our You Tube channel. It will take a few hours to show up but this is the perfect time to rewatch last year's videos while you wait.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Clean up day

The interns and I are at our favorite La Plata laundromat. None of us
wanted to drive back to Ohio with a van full of dirty field clothes.

We had a full day of cleanup today. We had to bag up the last loads of
artifacts, clean out the courthouse, pack up our field equipment,
empty and scrub down the Burch House, put the Burch house back
together, walk the fields of the town picking up any debris or
equipment we may have left behind, and start packing up our personal
belongings. In between all that work we spent some time with visitors
who dropped by: Jim, Mark, Carol, and Elsie. The interns also spent a
lot of time playing with their favorite local cat who they named Boots.

After all that work we enjoyed our first real restaurant dinner in
weeks. I figured that we needed to slowly readjust back to the real
world where BBQing is a treat not a daily activity. We are planning an
ice cream run after laundry too.

Once I am back at my Heidelberg office I will start posting some
photos and videos from this field season.

To answer the comment on our last posting, we have put black plastic
down in any unit that still has artifact bearing layers left
unexcavated. Those units can be continued at any time once we relocate
them with our mapping equipment and dig out the backfill that sits
atop the black plastic. All artifacts recovered from our excavations
are washed, cataloged, and then stored at Port Tobacco where they are
accessible for research. As for the future of Port Tobacco as a
historical site, that is up to Charles County and it's citizens. The
Port Tobacco Archaeological Project will continue to seek grant
funding to study the entire history of this town, from Native American
to contemporary times, but this work can only be continued as long as
we have local support. Speaking of support, I would like to thank the
landowners who allowed us to dig on their property and the town's
residents who welcomed us into their community.

April M. Beisaw

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The party's over...

Today was the last day of excavation for this field season. Yesterday
and today we focused on trying to define the building foundations
found in the Indian King Hotel area to make one last-ditch effort at
getting the whole picture. Yesterday we found walls in two units and
today we exposed a wall in a third unit.While the crew was finishing
the final unit Magen floated some of the soil samples from Ann's trash
feature. Floatation uncovered more characoal.

All-in-all, we have two to three buildings that are not parallel with
the courthouse and do not line up with the village green. In fact they
may predate the village green due to their orientation and artifact
content. The artifacts found by the foundations date from around the
1700s and include tin-glazed ceramics, glass stems, and tobacco pipes.

After we finished excavating the units, we focused on mapping and
sorting out tools. Tomorrow we will finish cleaning up the site and
pack up to go home.

Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers who have come out in all
sorts of weather to help us!