At the end of last Friday I looked at the puppy, Axel, that lives next door to our excavation site and realized that he was almost twice as big as he was in the first picture I took of him. A puppy can sure grow a lot in six weeks! (shown above with University of Maryland student Judy Joklik our first week in the field….at the end of the post see portraits of Axel with Camille and Justin and see how much the pup has grown!)
Last Friday we finished six weeks of excavation in Pardeesville, Pennsylvania. In fact, it went by in a flash. But in retrospect, we got a lot of work done. And the puppy grew a lot! Here is what we did:
-We excavated two house sites this summer. Both were backyards of company-built doublehouses. We dug a total of ten test units. These pits went as deep as seven feet and as shallow as a foot. We spaced them out across the yards so that we would get a good sample, and indeed, the age of artifacts and their density in the soil differed tremendously. We recovered thousands of artifacts, from a glass oil lamp base, a pressed glass pitcher, a miners lamp, a hunting dog tag, animal bones, medicine bottles, a snippet of 16 mm film, a toothbrush and a comb. Among these ten pits were four backyard privies, one of which was a two seater. We excavated each of these very slowly so that we could track exactly what came out and at what depth. When we analyze them this year we will be able to reconstruct the beginning and end dates for the filling up of each privy.
-We excavated two units in the basement of a doublehouse to see what kinds of activities went on in the basement.
-We trained a group of about six high school students from Hazleton in archaeological methods.
-We had one magazine interview (out by next December) and were written up in the Standard Speaker.
-We had a community open house at the site and showed some new friends some of our finds.
-We conducted about eleven interviews with folks in town. We will add this to the twenty-or-so interviews we have already done with residents of the Hazleton area over the last few years.
-We surveyed in a digital topographic map of the terracing of the backyard at the Yanac House. We are currently at work processing this into a 3-dimensional topographic map of the property.
-We made a lot of new friends and spent some time with the friends we have made in town last itme around.
So there you have it: six weeks! Stay tuned, we will be updating the blog with artifact analysis, newspaper research, and other project research. Thanks everyone who welcomed us into the community, shared stories, food, property, labor and cheer!