week one

Week 1 - Saturday, April 7th, 2002

Excavations began at the Clarke County Museum, also known as the Alston-Cobb House, which was built around 1854. Local volunteers assisted staff archaeologists from the Center for Archaeological Studies.

Our fieldwork was conducted to study whether intact archaeological deposits were present, and to discover the state of preservation of metal, glass and ceramic artifacts. These artifacts will help us gain a picture of what life was like in the small rural community of Grove Hill, over 100 years ago.

Three small excavations were dug in the backyard of the Alston-Cobb House in areas where there is a high potential for either deposits of intentionally discarded artifacts or belowground remains of buildings that no longer stand.

First, the sod in all of the units was carefully removed with shovels. Then volunteers learned how to use a sharpened masonry trowel to precisely scrape back the soil to reveal artifacts in place. All of the soil was then screened through a ¼-inch wire mesh to insure the recovery of small artifacts.
Our excavations show that artifacts were deposited as deep as one foot. In two excavations, we found stains in the soil. These stains are called features (evidence of past disturbance in the area caused by human, plant or animal activity). One of the features might be an old fencepost that rotted in the ground.

Most of the artifacts that we recovered are nails, but we also found bottle glass and window glass, as well as pieces of broken crockery and dishes. The nails suggest the presence of outbuildings. We hope to find a pier support that will show us where a building once stood.

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