A Long History of Occupations: Stephanie King’s Week 1

by Stephanie King, VCU student

Day 1: Orientation

Orientation at Ferry Farm introduced some and reacquainted others with the history of the area, particularly history directly related to the Washington occupation and a bit associated with Antebellum-era events. We learned that the site has a long history of occupations, dating as far back as 10,000 years, although it wasn’t occupied by the Washington family until Augustine Washington purchased the property in 1738. The entirety of the Washington occupation (1738-1754) is the major concern of the Ferry Farm excavations, but everything culturally relevant that is found is kept all the same.

We split up into groups to start our units. My dig-partner Ruth and I are situated directly north of a brick platform that was excavated by a previous group. Our student instructors Alan and Ashley demonstrated how to set the boundaries of our units (always into 5’x5’ blocks), and we made some headway on our topsoil layer.

Allen and Ashley demonstrate how to establish unit boundaries.

Day 2 – 3: Excavation!

My dig-partner Ruth and I finished our topsoil layer on our second day and found some non-plastic artifacts! Having reached the 20th century, we found bits of “utilitarian porcelain”, whiteware, wire and cut nails, glass (blue and green), and large chunks of a sodden shingle.

Rhenish German Stoneware (as identified by Ashley). Our first other-than-plastic find.

 

By our third day we started to find more significant ceramic wares, more brick (which is worrisome given the amount of brick in the unit just south of us), charcoal, and a few wrought nails. There were a few pieces of bone, but these pretty much fell away to nothing upon discovery. With the earth this saturated, the bone was more like rotted wood, and didn’t survive excavation. These were very likely faunal remains, and nothing to get too excited about.

Day 4: Wakefield

Naturally, we visited George Washington’s birthplace. Amy Muraca, our guide from the National Park Service, gave us a very thorough tour of the grounds and explained the archaeological processes that went into making Wakefield a memorial site. While there is a standing structure on the grounds, it is a representation of the original home that Washington was born in; the supposed outline of his home is laid in gravel to illustrate its location. We were also directed to the grave sites for the Washingtons, and took our lunch on a beach by the Potomac river (where I picked up many shells was given a faunal ulna).  We also were given a tour of the collections stored at Wakefield, where Ashley and Professor Means demonstrated 3-D printed archaeological artifacts that were scanned at the facility before our arrival.

Prof. Means and his digital microscope

 

Beach!

 

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Intense, Fun and Rewarding: Ruth Martin’s Week 1

by Ruth Martin, VCU student

This was the first week of Ferry Farm Field School, during which I learned quite a few new things. The paperwork was something we went over in depth and some of the more detailed parts of information were new to me. I always knew that field work is not easy but I didn’t realize how intense, fun and rewarding it can be. One of the more exciting parts of excavating is screening. It’s a chance to put your skills to the test in differentiating artifacts from rocks and dirt, which can sometimes be a challenge. It’s also an opportunity to learn about the different artifacts that you find.

The amazing screening equipment!

The amazing screening equipment!

This week Stephanie and I set up our unit, and removed the topsoil layer. In the topsoil we mainly found pieces of plastic.

Our test unit, the first layer done!  The top of our 20th century layer begins.

Our test unit, the first layer done! The top of our 20th century layer begins.

In our twentieth century layer, we found a few pieces of pottery- in particular a nice piece of “Rhenish German Stoneware”.  Ashley helped us identify this piece.    The bottom side displayed the salt glaze associated with stoneware, which texture looks and feels like an orange peel. The blue design on the side displayed indicates the pottery fragment was of German origin.

Rhenish German Stoneware found in our 20th century layer.

Rhenish German Stoneware found in our 20th century layer.

On Wednesday we took a break from the intense heat and went to Wakefield. Amy Maraca of the National Parks Service was nice enough to give our field school, nine students in total, a private tour of the grounds and foundations of George Washington’s birthplace.

On Friday we managed to start scraping the top of our antebellum layer, this is where our finds started to get really interesting. We found a horses tooth, a couple pieces of bent rounded metal, and a tiny piece of yellow pineapple pottery! I think that the bits of metal may have originally been part of a horse’s tack, though that’s just a wild guess that needs much more evidence to back it up.

Field School Ferry Farm FF-20: Vivian Hite’s Week 1

by Vivian Hite, VCU student

Field School Ferry Farm FF-20

Day 1-

Day 1 began under the pavilion. Ashley, our VCU intern, began to show us around Ferry Farm.  We explored the garden where plants from George’s life were grown; right down to the cherry trees.  Moving throughout the site, we were introduced to the history of Ferry Farm.  From the Native past, the colonial era, the Battle of Fredericksburg, and up to modern day- Ferry Farm’s history is as rich and vibrant as the garden being grown today.

Olivia excavating top soil.

Olivia excavating top soil.

Past archaeologists have searched the site looking for George’s boyhood home.  Schuster, an archaeologist in the 1990’s, infamously dug a trench across the farm looking for the home.  His past investigations have impacted current archaeology.  The home was formally found in 2008.  As the years have progressed, archaeologists have searched for the cellars and outbuildings surrounding the 18th century home.  Wig curlers are an abundant and curious finding at the site.  Approximately 166 have been found over the years and with each find the question of why so many increases. And so our excavation begins.

Looking towards the East, where the gradient of curlers and thus cultural activity increases, we begin our dig.  Starting in a checkerboard pattern, my digging partners and I line our grids and measure our elevation.  After the start of paperwork, we began to move topsoil.  After jumping onto our shovels to get through the grass roots, we attempted to shovel the squares up.  Olivia was a bit heavy handed in the removal process resulting in a deeper north east corner.  Throughout the shoveling, we were instructed to sift through our dirt.  The screens were set up under a large Magnolia tree.  The shade attracted our first public interaction.  Two little girls helped us search through the dirt and look for artifacts.  By the end of the barrel, one girl bragged to her sister about her success in the archaeology- her “rock” got placed in the important bag.

As we made our way through the first layer, a storm abruptly rolled in, and, much to our dismay- we packed up nearly an hour early with high hopes for the next day’s finds.

Day 2!

Day two began in the pavilion where Ashley points to us and says “Surprise! Lab day for you all!” We immediately believe it’s because we were so slow and automatically point to Olivia for her deep digging.

When we went to the lab we met Melissa and she showed us around the house (up and down) and demonstrated how to clean artifacts. Olivia and I were in charge of cleaning a remaining set of artifacts and then to start on rewashing artifacts, while Francesca awaited a lab technician to show her how to label.  Washing was intimidating at first.  I was looking forward to lab work because I was able to handle unique artifacts I had yet to find in drab top soil, however the gentle brushing of nails, the massaging of brick, and the light scrubbing of ceramics was terrifying- what if we rubbed off the glaze, the brick absorbed too much water, or the nails rust fell apart- and the oyster shells- Olivia sat there picking the dirt out of each hole with a dental pick. We decided that lunch would be best outside- perhaps the heat we had so luckily avoided would dry our pruned fingers out. After lunch, we rotated and Olivia and I learned how to label.  Cutting the labels into the tinniest of strips was challenging.  Every snip was never close enough.  Glue. Place. Glue. Glue. Place. Glue.  In the beginning deciding the best place to attach a label was difficult and many questions ensued, however left to our own devices, we reflected back to our Methods class and soon picked up on it, with an occasional review from the assistant and quizzes on what we thought an artifact was- Olivia is no member of the NRA- 2 shell casings and she guessed firecracker and eraser.

Olivia in the lab.

Olivia in the lab.

Once Olivia recorded our last Context into the catalog binder, I moved to store the bag when I commented on how lucky we were to have not had the next bag- FULL of Rocks! A girl sitting on the computer working on some sketch or painting asked to see the bag. She corrected that it was “not rocks but cement, sweetie”.  She explained she was a field student here last year and remembered that unit.  It was part of Schuster’s trench that he had filled with broken cement.  At one point they had two racks full of cement samples.  After pleasantries, we headed out to see if our field friends needed any help closing the site. As we were leaving Mariana mentioned they had already found a feature. Another Schuster remain- an STP, it began with a nail, then some tape, and stopped  there.  More excitement I thought then the roots we get to continue with tomorrow.  Luckily our intern Allen, fairy god mother, we joke around the apartment, had squared off and leveled out our unit so we weren’t as behind as we thought we were.

In all I was surprised to realize that lab work was not as exciting as I imagined it would be.  Everyone always says how much they hate it but some people love it, and in class I believed I was one of those people However. As I sat in the room on display with children looking in on my every rinse, I kept wondering what others had found and what I was missing out on.  Guess we will find out tomorrow.

Day 3

Today we were a little lost in the shuffle.  We began the morning under the magnolia tree at the site.  We went over our progress so far and then we began to uncover the site. This was a bit crazy.  Since we were in the lab yesterday, we missed the entire uncover/recover process.  People were stepping here and there with confidence, in the end we stuck with wheelbarrows, buckets and trowels.  Envy and determination filled us when we saw the others units.  Units to our left and right were going into the antebellum layer soon, while we still were in topsoil.  Eventually we were able to smooth the layer and take a picture of the context.  We then moved on to our 20th century layer: complete with 1 ceramic sherd, 1 glass fragment, 1 piece of polyester, and a bunch of rocks.  After lunch we snooped the other units out and heard stories of bones, marbles, and shells- not a foot away from our unit.  The motivation sunk in and we were ready to dig in.  Our goal was to get through the 20th Century context today however a surprise storm took up over the river and ended our dig abruptly. Luckily we had just finished screening our last scraping.  It was a mad dash to return tools to the ever faithful surveyors shed and cover the site as the storm rolled in.  The confused chaos of the morning was replaced with a need to act.  No matter the act. And fast.  The tarp, me and other field school students unrolled to cover our units was yanked out of someone’s hand by the wind and wrapped itself in a fallen Bridget.  Stones and screens were being thrown onto the site as hats, gloves and dirt blew across the field.

Later in the evening after the power had returned to our dorms and the calm had ridden in, Olivia and I went for a walk and stumbled upon the Kenmore Plantation. Though the house was closed we noticed the Confederate Army cemetery and stopped to read the monuments along the road.  Mini-monument Avenue also had its personal “Hollywood” cemetery- full of the Gordon’s of Kenmore. Reading the names “…Aged at ….” With the water still resting in the engagements and the night setting in put a perspective onto the history found here and added the human to the dig.  It’s so easy to lose sight around you with your head in a hole, focused on layer upon layer, context upon context, wig curler and lithic, but these are just the objects that comprise someone’s life. A person’s life.

Finding George: Bridget Polk’s Week 1

by Bridget Polk, VCU student

Attending field school at George Washington’s boyhood home Ferry Farm has been a wonderful experience even after only one week’s time. I have been reminded of the passion that I felt for archaeology as a child and wish to follow a path that I enjoy so as I never have to “work” a day in my life. Digging in the field, however, is very hard work. It takes a discipline and certain amount of strength to understand and be able to complete the tasks set out for you.

An excited me waiting to leave for field school on day one

An excited me waiting to leave for field school on day one

We began our week touring the site and getting familiar with the history of the area to better understand our own reasoning for conducting archaeology. I point this out because archaeology is a destructive process that needs to be done delicately in order to retain all the information that we can to further our understanding of the past.  Within our field school student comrades, we each picked a digging partner to dig with for the entirety. My dig partner, Aaron, and I have gotten along swimmingly this past week as we both learned the basics of an archaeological dig.

When our work began, our topsoil layer was just obscured heavily with roots from a neighboring magnolia tree but we were able to get through it and begin screening our unit. Soon, we made our way down into the 20th century layer of the soil finding that the soil variance was very subtle and needed time to be looked at and thought over before we could conclude that it was in fact a soil change.  Surprisingly, our 20th century layer included an animal’s rib bone believed to have been eaten and discarded.

Animal bone recovered from our unit.

Animal bone recovered from our unit.

We continued digging in the 20th century layer the next day finding interesting artifacts ranging from glass sherds, brick pieces, and even ceramic sherds. This day had to be cut short as a strong storm began to send gusty winds at us giving us a horrible time trying to cover up the site completely. After hard work, we got it all covered and safe from the oncoming rains.

On Thursday, we visited George Washington’s birthplace while receiving a tour from Amy Muraca of the National Park Services. Afterwards, we got to view the archaeological collections at the park. This was my favorite part as I saw quite a few artifacts that interested me including: old books, old maps, busts of George Washington, 19th century furniture from the site and many other household items.

A beautiful hourglass among the other artifacts at the collections facility.

A beautiful hourglass among the other artifacts at the collections facility.

By the end of the first week, I was tired as an old dog but my excitement soon peaked when my digging partner and I found the first wig curler of the field school! This is a very popular artifact that is found around the site and is of great importance as they are from the Washington era. All in all, I believe that the first week went well and I look forward to see how we can expand our knowledge and understanding of George Washington and his boyhood home.

The infamous wig curler to end out our week at Ferry Farm!

The infamous wig curler to end out our week at Ferry Farm!

From the Bottom Up: Lauren Volkers’s Week One

by Lauren Volkers, VCU student

Day 1: My first day at Ferry Farm, located in Fredericksburg, was both spectacular and very informative. To start off the day Ashley McCuiston, our TA, gave us a tour of Ferry Farm and provided a brief history on the house and surrounding land. George Washington’s boyhood home is no longer standing, but there are rock features that outline where George Washington’s house once stood. Currently there is an old house/building that is still standing that use to serve as a boy’s home for misguided boys. The idea was that if the young men could live where George Washington grew up, they would be inspired to adjust their behavior and strive to reach their goals. Today the house/building serves as a visitor’s center for Ferry Farm and houses a lab for the archaeologists. There is also a garden in the back where they are growing all sorts of vegetation and plants that the Washingtons would have been growing when they lived on the land too.

After receiving our tour and taking a brief lunch we dove, not literally, into archaeology. We were first split up into groups and met our field school crew chiefs, Ashley and Allen, that are supervising and teaching us how to properly excavate an archaeological site. My partner for the excavation is Mariana, which is really cool because we use to play soccer together so it nice to at least know someone on the first day. After that we were given our own unit and coordinates, ours is N600 and E560, and Ashley and Allen went over the paper work that we will have to fill out for every context we run into. Before we could start digging we had to write down our coordinates, context number, elevation of the soil, the size of our unit, and get a Munsell soil sample. A Munsell soil sample is taking a small sample of the soil and comparing our sample with a Munsell soil color chart to figure out what color our soil is. After all of our paperwork was filled out and all of our supplies retrieved we were finally able to start removing the topsoil. At the end of the day, we were shown how to cover up the site with black tarp and where the concrete blocks go so the tarps wouldn’t go flying at night. We also put back all of our materials in the surveyor’s shed, a small shed where we keep most of our supplies we use to dig.

Day 1: Our excavating site before we got a unit assigned to us.

Day 1: Our excavating site before we got a unit assigned to us.

Day 2: One the second day we were able to remove the topsoil, but didn’t find much besides bits of plastic and plenty of rocks. Since we finished removing the topsoil we were shown how to get our unit set up for a picture. After that we kept digging into our 20th century disturbance layer, but after a while I noticed an increase in the amounts of rocks and a change in the soil color—the soil went from a dark brown to a yellowish brown, in the south east corner of our unit. After asking Ashley and Allen they confirmed that we found our first feature and that it was a shovel test pit (STP) 513 from a previous archaeologist. After finding our feature we stopped excavating our 20th century disturbance layer and started excavating our STP since the soil and contents came from a different time. It was very interesting to learn how to excavate a feature, but it was also annoying because my partner Mariana found a glass marble that was half exposed so we were going to have to wait to take it out until we could resume our 20th century disturbance layer. We also found a nail and marking tape in the ground near our feature, which was probably left behind from a previous archaeologist.

Day 2: Mariana and I’s STP after we found it and marked its boundaries for the picture.

Day 2: Mariana and I’s STP after we found it and marked its boundaries for the picture.

As we started excavating our STP we had to be careful so we wouldn’t go outside our STP’s boundaries, since that soil is different than the soil inside. There were mostly rocks and soil inside of our STP, but we did find two nails and a ceramic sherd while screening our dirt, which was exciting. Unfortunately we had to end the day early because a storm was coming in and it surprisingly came upon us quickly, because the wind became very strong. Luckily we were able to work fast and cover our site, without injury, before the storm came in. I was very surprised that just on our second how fast we were able to cover our entire site and return everything before it got ruined by the storm. Go us!

Day 2: All of getting our stuff to leave before the storm hit and after we got all the tarps down with all of the wind.

Day 2: All of getting our stuff to leave before the storm hit and after we got all the tarps down with all of the wind.

Day 4: On Thursday we got a break from working and took a field trip to George Washington’s Birthplace in Wakefield. It was a beautiful place because it was right on the Potomac River and the view was amazing, the constant breeze was also a plus. It was really nice for Amy Muraca from the National Park Service to take time out of her day and show us around the landscape and the storing facility where they store the artifacts found on the property. We got tour of a house that was a monument to George Washington, which was funny because only two things, a table and a metal wine bottle, in the house were from George Washington’s home and the house wasn’t even modeled after the house. The supposed outline to George Washington’s birthplace house was also really odd looking, which makes you wonder if the archaeologists that excavated the site before are certain that that is the true outline of his home. After taking a tour of an old cemetery where is actually houses some of the remains of the Washington family. For lunch we ate on a beach, which was beautiful and relaxing despite all of the mosquitoes. I think my favorite part of the day was when Ashley and Dr. Means presented some 3D printed replicas to Amy Muraca—her face looked like it was Christmas morning.

Day 4: George Washington Birthplace National Monument house (Background) and a house that modeled a kitchen and slave quarters.

Day 4: George Washington Birthplace National Monument house (Background) and a house that modeled a kitchen and slave quarters.

Day 5: On Friday Mariana and I were finally able to finish our feature, but the soil at the bottom is very dark and after consulting with Laura, our Field director, could indicate a new feature or the just color of a deeper layer. We will not find out which it is however, until we get our current layer (20th century disturbance layer) down to where our STP stops. After finishing and taking a picture of our feature, we also had to map it so when looking back other archaeologist will know where exactly the STP was.

Day 5: Our finished STP!

Day 5: Our finished STP!

We then continued excavating our 20th century disturbance layer to get it down to the antebellum layer. So far Mariana and I have not found much besides: plastic, two glass marbles, ceramic sherds, small glass shards, nails, and plenty of rocks but that is expected of the 20th century layer. We also had to end early again because dark clouds were staring to roll in so hopefully next week there will be more interesting things in our antebellum layer and we will get more than one full day in the field!

Ferry Farm Field Fun: Mariana Zechini’s Week 1

The famous surveyor’s shed at Ferry Farm which houses most of our tools and equipment.

The famous surveyor’s shed at Ferry Farm which houses most of our tools and equipment.

This week was the first week of the VCU 2013 field school at Ferry Farm. The first morning, Ashley, our TA, introduced us to the diverse history at Ferry Farm by leading us on a tour of the site. In the afternoon, we were able to start digging. My partner, Lauren, and I recorded elevations and soil color and texture before finally putting our shovels to the dirt. We made it through most of the topsoil by the end of the day and found mostly plastic, but some lithic debitage as well.

Lauren and I setting up our test unit on our first day. Photo taken by Bernard K. Means

Lauren and I setting up our test unit on our first day. Photo taken by Bernard K. Means

Below the topsoil lies the 20th century disturbance layer. Lauren and I dug about half of the layer and stopped once we spotted a feature in the southeast corner of our unit. As it turns out, the concentration of rocks and difference in soil color was the top of an STP excavated by previous archaeologists. We immediately stopped digging and began the paperwork for our feature. Digging features separately is extremely important in archaeology. Features can include shovel test pits, middens, cellars and a number of other things and are treated as an entirely new context and layer. Wednesday and Friday were spent working on the STP feature. Artifacts recovered included, ceramic, nails and plastic. Unfortunately, before we were able to finish excavating our feature, a storm quickly hit Ferry Farm and crew members and field school students rushed to get units covered and paperwork in order before safely evacuating the site.

The top of our STP feature can be seen in the southeast corner of our unit.

The top of our STP feature can be seen in the southeast corner of our unit.

On Thursday, the field school took a trip to Wakefield where Amy Muraca led us through the grounds. We mostly discussed how the site has been interpreted over the years, as well as various archaeology projects that have been performed on the site. We were fortunate enough to also see the collections housed at the George Washington Birthplace National Monument which include a variety of artifacts. Ashley also presented Amy Muraca with plastic replicas of two artifacts: a wine seal with Augustine Washington’s initials and a 19th century pipe bowl with “Egypt” incised on it. These plastic models were made in the Virtual Curation Lab housed in the School of World Studies at VCU.

One of the marbles found in the 20th century disturbance layer.

One of the marbles found in the 20th century disturbance layer.

On Friday, Lauren and I got through most of the 20th century layer and found two marbles (one green, one black), glass, nails and lithic debitage. I am very excited to continue digging and I look forward to what these next few weeks will bring!

At the Top of the Antebellum Layer: Olivia McCarty’s Week 1

by Olivia McCarty, VCU student

Now that I am done with my first week of field school I can safely say that I am looking forward to many more weeks of the same, though I would appreciate it if these afternoon storms would stop cutting our days short. The excitement I had on day one has not diminished as each day I get to unearth and discover different artifacts then the day before. This week has taught me a number of important techniques from how to systematically dig and excavate a unit carefully, to the smaller trade secrets of always leaving your metal dustpan in the shade so you don’t scorch your hand the next time you try and pick it up. Field school has already done a great job of giving me a better understanding of what archaeology real is, and what it means to be an archaeologist.

A view of the stone corner markers that show where George Washington's childhood house stood. The house foundation was rediscovered during the 2007 excavation at Ferry Farm

A view of the stone corner markers that show where George Washington’s childhood house stood. The house foundation was rediscovered during the 2007 excavation at Ferry Farm

We started our first day of field school with a tour of the Ferry Farm grounds given to us by our field school TA Ashley McCuistion. It is important to be knowledgeable about the history of a site before you dig so you know what to look for when digging. For example this area was not only George Washington’s Childhood home but was also a place of American Indian habitation more then 10,000 years ago and more recently was a Union camp during the Civil War, so we can expect to find many different artifacts from different periods when excavating this site.  After our tour we quickly got down to business and gathered the tools we needed for excavation; a trowel, dustpan, shovel, wheelbarrow, and bucket, and started to assign units.

My partner’s Vivian Hite, Francesca Chesler, and I got a unit with the grid coordinates of N595 E565. We then began to survey our plot by measuring out the elevations of our unit, doing a Munsell soil test to determine the color the soil was, and then feeling our soil to determine what it was made up of. I asked Ferry Farm intern Allen Huber a lot of questions during the first day, as I continually wanted to make sure I was doing everything right.  After taking the measurements, we grabbed our shovels and started to remove the topsoil. I was pretty excited to have a tool in my hand by this point and dug a little too deep at first, but was assured it was okay. With the wheelbarrow filled high we journeyed onto the screens where we dumped our dirt. Here is where I discovered that to be a good archaeologist you have to bag any artifact that you find and that includes the 21st century plastic we found in our topsoil layer too. Soon after it was the end of the day and we worked on putting our tools away and cleaning up our site and covering it well, already excited about coming back to work on our unit the next day.

Cleaning a tooth in the lab with a toothbrush

Cleaning a tooth in the lab with a toothbrush

However when we showed up on day two we were told that our group was headed to the lab. At first I was concerned that this was because of my exuberant shovel digging from the day before and that I would never be allowed to work in the field again, but later on in the day it was learned that each group has to work in the lab for a day because for every hour spent in the field two to three hours has to be spent in the lab recording, labeling and washing all the artifacts. So lab work is a very important process for archaeology because it helps to preserve our finds and allow more research to be done. My group worked on washing and labeling the artifacts. It was really fun to see and handle all the different artifacts found at the site. Washing was probably the harder of the two tasks because the different categories of artifacts require different washing techniques. Being in the lab really helped me to understand more of the preservation process.

On day three it was out in the field again and my group and I tried to catch up with the other groups as we finished with our topsoil and worked on our 20th century layer. It was nice being out in the sunny field again and as we screened more of our dirt I felt like I was looking at the artifacts with a more discerning eye after seeing what was in the lab the day before. We had troubles early on keeping our unit smooth but we eventually worked out a system by asking other groups what they did. Our time in the field was cut short because of a fierce storm that was rolling in, and clean up was a whole lot faster passed as everyone was trying to cover the units before the rain came.

We took a field trip on day four to Wakefield, which is George Washington’s birthplace. Our group was lucky enough to get a tour of the area by Amy Muraca, who showed us the Washington landscape, ancestral cemetery, the colonial revival house there, and even took us around their lab department that holds many interesting artifacts from the colonial times. It was a relaxing and informative day that also held a lunch at the beach where I surprisingly enough found some type of animal’s tibia and where many of my other classmates spotted shark’s teeth along the coast.

Me proudly holding my annular sherd.

Me proudly holding my annular sherd.

By day five we were back in the field once again and my group was more determined then ever to reach the antebellum layer and get out of the twentieth century, especially after we heard that one of the other groups had just found a wig curler that day. We could tell we were getting closer and closer to the antebellum layer as Vivian found a Rockingham shard and I found a sherd of annular ware, both pottery types date from the late 18th century to early 19th century.  We finally reached our goal in the afternoon and were at the top of the antebellum layer with no time to spare as we took the official picture of our site just a couple of minutes before thunder could be heard.

Overall this week of field school has allowed me to actually put to practice the different techniques I learned throughout class and I am very much excited to start the antebellum layer this coming week!