Field School 2017 – Week 6
Caitlin Connolly — St. Mary’s College of Maryland
“Making Progress, Despite a Little Rain”
We came back from the 4th of July weekend to pleasant weather and a schedule change as we jumped back into digging at the site. We are now out at the site from Wednesday to Sunday (come visit us!). In addition, we have a new set of people working in the lab to process the artifacts that we have been finding in the field. It was only the first day back and already something interesting was found. While sifting, Cormac and Flannery discovered the arm of a porcelain doll in their soil, a very interesting find indeed, in my opinion.
The day wrapped up a bit early so that we all could attend a lecture on artifact conservation given by Lisa Young. Conservation is an important part of archaeology and when properly applied, ensures that we retain as much information as possible from artifacts.
On Thursday it was raining cats and dogs in the morning but all was not lost. We spent the day inside learning about the Fairbanks house, the oldest timber frame house in North America, learning how to read probate inventories and what they can tell us about the wealth of Maryland planters, and finished out the day getting an overview of the project that involved the excavation of the lead coffins that are located now in the chapel.
The following day, we were greeted with small pools in our units thanks to the previous day’s downpour. We spent the first part of our morning enjoying ourselves as we bailed water out of each unit, which we had covered with tarps the day before to protect from the rain. But excavations soon continued! Some of us were working on excavating a modern pipe trench, while others worked on excavating a portion of the driveway that would have led up to the Brome Howard house, a house that was built on the site of the Leonard Calvert house in 1840.
For me, what brightened my day was discovering a portion of the stem of a wine glass dating to either the 18th or 19th century.
It’s a very pretty piece of glass. We rounded out the week with even more bailing thanks to more rainfall, the opening of a new unit, and the discovery of a 17th century smoker’s companion that was in very good condition. We hope to x-ray the smoker’s companion to reveal more information about it.
I look forward to the interesting artifacts we will uncover next week! Even with the impending rise in temperature…