Long Barrack Archaeology Update - April 12

April 12, 2024

Excavations continued at the Long Barrack this week, with four active units.

Archaeologists reached an approximate depth of 60 cm below surface in EU-8. A large electrical utility was removed from the unit. Archaeologists noted two different soil types within the unit, which corresponds to other units along the Long Barrack. The soil closest to the Long Barrack is the same builders’ trench seen in EUs 10 and 12. EU-8 differs from the other units this week with the density of cultural material, particularly ceramics.

A large sandy paste ceramic sherd was recovered from approximately 50 cm below surface. The rim sherd appears unglazed and displays distinct wheel-thrown striations with a coarse sandy paste. The sherd measures 11 mm thick and has an estimated rim diameter of approximately 13 cm. The size suggests the vessel was a type of jar, likely utilitarian in nature.

Whiteboard and ruler at the bottom of a dirt excavation unit
EU-8, at approximately 60 cm below surface.
Hand holding a brush while other hand is on the dirt at the bottom of an excavation unit
Closeup of sandy paste ceramic in situ.

Archaeologists in EU-10 reached an approximate depth of 80 cm below surface. The two distinct soil types continued into this level. The soil in the eastern half of the unit did have remnants of a caliche deposit, likely utilized as a floor. Additionally, the limestone alignment extends deeper. The alignment could be the wall foundation of an ancillary structure from the US Army period. However, further investigation is required.

Archaeologists in EU-12 almost reached the base of the Long Barrack wall at 130 cm below surface. Soils at this depth are very clay rich and resemble the sterile clay encountered in previous units. However, archaeologists are still recovering cultural materials, though the density is quite low.

Within EU-15 archaeologists encountered an interesting limestone cobble feature. Initially the feature was thought to be a structural alignment. However further soil removal revealed that the stones extended horizontally. It is possible this cobblestone cluster is a portion of the courtyard surface prepared by the US Army in the 1840s. Further investigation is required. Archaeologists reached an approximate depth of 60 cm below surface.

Limestone block aligned to edge of excavation unit
EU-10 at 80 cm below surface. Note the limestone alignment.
Whiteboard and marker at the bottom of a deep excavation unit
EU-12 at 130 cm below surface.
Limestone feature at dirt bottom of an excavation unit
Limestone feature within EU-15.