Volunteers from the “Digging for Our Past” course helped expose more of the north end of the garage today (above.) In removing the gravel from May, one student found the base of a metal bucket. Resting in a cut into the brick flooring, the bucket may cover a feature we can expose in the following weeks as we get closer to under covering the cistern further north.
2013 Grantee for the Nancy L. Benco Archaeological Research Fund
Emily O. Hall
Emily O. Hall writes: “The expedition I went on in Greece was one of the best experiences, it was the first time I’ve ever went on a dig and I loved it! We worked in Kalamata, Greece at a site called Ancient Thouria, and it’s over 2,000 years old. We would go to the site at 8 am and stayed until 12:30pm. At the site we learned things such as stratigraphy, how to properly dig at the site, how to clean artifacts, take pictures of new finds and of the site, and draw our findings. We also met many greek students and archaeologist. After we were at the site we would have a break and then have an afternoon session where we would either have a class about archaeological methods, lectures or we would visit other archaeological sites around Kalamata. I learned a lot about the archaeological field and how important it is in developing history. I am glad I had this opportunity to go and wouldn’t have been able togo without the scholarship. Thanks for the opportunity!”
For more information on the funding and to apply, contact Dr. BH.
On Saturday, sixteen students removed gravel on the north end of the garage to begin the excavation of the north end of the nineteenth-century garage. In the east end, students observed two very different sets of bricks. The south end of the garage, measuring 6 x 6 meters, is a nicely paved with bricks on the edge. In the northeast end, they exposed a very different deposit of bricks, on their beds now, and arranged in very haphazard manner. Students clearly deduced that whoever was responsible for laying the “floor” in this end did not know much about brick masonry. The
On Tuesday morning, eight students arrived on site to continue work and removed the bricks after photographs and other documentation was completed. Underneath this rough flooring they found more bricks and large deposit of pebble and sand deposit, likely used to stabilize the bricks above.
On Saturday morning, 17 students began excavating at the site of Lot 3776, a late 19th century property at Wittenberg University’s campus. The students are part of a unique college program that let’s students earn 2 semester credits and start college a bit earlier than other members of their class. Co-leaders, Dr. Carmiele Wilkerson (English) and Dr. Brooks Hedstrom (History), are teaching students how to use archives, artifacts, and writing to craft essays about their past and Wittenberg’s.
The first members of Wittenberg’s Class of 2017 have arrived on campus and will begin excavations on campus on Saturday. Tomorrow we have the first orientation to the site and the great work completed in May by the Archaeology class. Stay tuned for our work on the site.
A big thank you to Tom Stafford, writer for the Springfield News-Sun for reporting on the May Term class “Archaeological Field Methods” with an article entitled: “Students Dig Into Witt History.”
Read the article below and hear how Wittenberg students experienced discovery and writing history this summer while participating in campus archaeology.
Last week a 6 x 9 meter garage was removed for safety reasons on Wittenberg’s campus. However, inside was a beautiful brick-flooring that dates to the turn of the century. This gem will be added to our areas for work later this summer when Wittenberg’s Summer College “Digging for Our Past” participates in an excavation on campus. See the transformation of the site before and after below.
The garage has plumbing from a famous Memphis plumbing and gas company JA Bailey & Co. On the right you see the pump amidst the demolition of the garage (see below). A close-up of the company impression still wonderfully preserved in this garage.
After fully exposing the deposit (above) to see its full extent, we photographed the deposit with overhead shots and close-ups.
Then William and Mark began drawing a plan of the deposit (above), which included roof slate, red bricks, mortar, stone chips, and pebbles. The meter screen, seen above, assists archaeologists in drawing an accurate plan. In this case, the students are leveling the screen, using a plumb bob and a tap to accurately plot the features of the deposit on a 1:20 plan.
Finally, we removed the deposit so that we could count and process the deposit to see if we could determine what period the deposit was made. Three features point to the deposit reflecting the 19th century house: 1.) The pebbles underneath are consistent with those used for leveling a walkway, that gave entrance to the front of the house. 2.) The mortar’s composition has larger inclusions than the finer concrete and mortar found in the first week, which dates to the 1936 house. 3.) All the nails found in the deposit are 19th century cut nails.
Since the house was remodeled in 1936, it is possible this rubble reflects changes made to the house then. The entrance also shifted from an east entrance on N. Wittenberg, to a north entrance on West College. See the two houses below: