Long Barrack Archaeology Update - April 5

April 5, 2024

After a 2 week hiatus, archaeologists are back at the Long Barrack to continue excavations. The absence was due to the installation of a temporary drainage solution to prevent precipitation and other weather conditions from negatively impacting the excavation units and the newly exposed portions of the historic Long Barrack. Once archaeologists were able to return to excavations, two new units—EU-8 and EU-15—were  opened along the Long Barrack. Excavations also continued in EUs 10 and 12.

EU-8 is located along the Long Barrack wall and southeast of the door leading into the structure. The unit measure 1.5 meters by 2 meters. Archaeologists reached a depth of 40 centimeters below surface by the end of the week. In the top levels of the unit, archaeologists encountered evidence of previous disturbances and modern fill episodes. An old, abandoned electrical conduit was immediately uncovered. Associated with the utility is a concrete pillar that extends into deeper levels. The soils are indicative of landscaping and reflect what archaeologists have seen in other excavation units. Due to previous disturbances, artifacts from this unit are a mixture of modern and historic. One of the more notable finds was a complete medicine bottle.

Two tarp coverings over the Long Barrack excavation area
Tarps and temporary drainage solution at Long Barrack, photo facing northwest.
Cylindrical piece inside an excavation unit
EU-8 at approximately 40 cm below surface, photo facing west.
Glass bottle found inside an archaeology excavation area
Bottle found in EU-8.

Archaeologists continued excavations in EU-10 and reached a depth of 80 cm below surface. In this unit the soils are beginning to transition to a lighter tan silty clay that may suggest the presence of dense limestone below. Also in this unit archaeologists began to define a limestone alignment. This alignment is possibly the remnants of a wall that once extended east from the wall of the Long Barrack and into the courtyard. The masonry resembles the previous limestone alignment found in EU-2B and they may be temporally associated. More investigation is required. Artifacts density was very low.

In EU-12 archaeologists continued excavations and reached a depth of 120 cm below surface. Artifact density has dropped dramatically in the unit. The soil has a higher concentration of limestone than previous levels. Archaeologists have not encountered the base of the Long Barrack wall yet.

A new unit, EU-15, was opened in the southern-most corner of the courtyard. The Long Barrack serves as the western boundary and the reconstructed dividing wall between Convento and Cavalry Courtyards is the southern boundary. The measurements for this unit differ from other units because archaeologists needed to avoid the existing HVAC system. Excavations reached a depth of 50 cm below surface in this first week. The top levels of this unit contained mostly modern materials.

Archaeologist with bright yellow vest digging in an excavation unit
Archaeologist removing soil from the Long Barrack wall. Note the limestone alignment in the foreground.
Bottom of excavation unit with a triangular piece near the left top corner
EU-12 at approximately 120 cm below surface.
Inside an excavation unit with a square limestone piece in the right top corner
EU-15 at approximately 50 cm below surface.
Artifact pieces over netting next to a ruler for size
Artifacts from top levels of EU-15.