Another Week Bites the Dust: Lauren Volker’s Week 3

by Lauren Volker, VCU student

Day 11: Today we went to Mount Vernon to take a look at the archaeology site and to see George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. First we got a look at the lab and some artifacts that they found on site. We got a close up look at their restoration department and some local projects they are working on. After a quick tour of their storage room we went to see the archaeology site they are working on. Currently they are working on finding the kitchen that Samuel had when he lived at Mount Vernon and other outhouses. After we got to tour the grounds and see all of the other buildings they reconstructed. It was really interesting to learn that they now painted the house a cream color after discovering that was the color George Washington had the house, not white. We also got to take a tour through George Washington’s house and got to see the New Room that they are working currently reconstructing.

George Washington’s Mt Vernon Estate

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate

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Day 12: Today Mariana and I finished excavating our utility trench and were able to continue excavating our antebellum layer. Hopefully we can catch up with everyone else (all the other units are on the colonial layer). We were able to continue excavating our antebellum layer and still found quite a few artifacts. Some of the artifacts include: nails, ceramic sherds, glass shards, a possible horse tooth, pipe stems, and hair curler sherds (none of them count since none of them had an end).

Mariana and I’s finished trench.

Mariana and I’s finished trench.

Some dirt we screened from our antebellum layer.

Some dirt we screened from our antebellum layer.

Day 13: Today we started the day with a ceramic lecture that took up all of our morning. The lecture was very informative, but a lot of information to take in. Hopefully I can remember all of it in time for our ceramic’s test. After lunch Mariana and I continued our antebellum and we found another hair curler with an end! This one has a WB (maker’s mark) and a crown with a dot in it. We also finally got to our colonial layer, finally!

A wig curler with the maker’s mark and a crown.

A wig curler with the maker’s mark and a crown.

Day 14: This morning it was raining and luckily instead of sending us home we got to learn how to do unit summaries. I actually really liked writing unit summaries and filling out the paper work. Right after we also got to hear a lecture from Laura Galke about small findings. Unfortunately we had to stop our excavating of our colonial layer because after leveling off our unit with our STP, we realized our STP was deeper than we thought. Mariana also uncovered a distal end of a pig’s tibia so we are going to have to wait to get it out until we can continue our colonial layer. Hopefully we can finish it tomorrow and it’s not to deep.

Everyone hard at work writing unit summaries (In photo Olivia, Aaron, Katie, and Mariana).

Everyone hard at work writing unit summaries (In photo Olivia, Aaron, Katie, and Mariana).

The distal end of a pig’s tibia in our colonial layer.

The distal end of a pig’s tibia in our colonial layer.

Day 15: This morning again it misted on us, so we got to continue our unit summaries. After the mist stopped we got to go out and excavate. The rest of the day turned out to be very nice because it was slightly chilly and cloudy so it wasn’t hot digging. Mariana and I were also able to fully dig out our STP and we ended up going down another foot, so in total our STP was a little over 2 ft deep. By the end of the day we also got really close to subsoil. We thought we were finally done with our colonial layer because we went through about 8 buckets of dirt and not artifacts, but of course on our last bucket Dr. Means found a lithic debitage so hopefully we can finish up our unit next week.

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