Long Barrack Archaeology Update - May 10

May 10, 2024

This week five excavation units were active- EUs 2B, 8, 10, 14, and 19.

In EU-2B archaeologists finished excavating below the limestone alignment. There were few artifacts from this last section of the unit. However an exciting find was a Puebla Polychrome ceramic sherd. This ceramic type was manufactured between 1650 and 1725 in Puebla, Mexico.

Archaeologists in EU-8 reached 150 cm below surface and began final unit documentation. At the base of the unit there is still evidence of an intrusive trench and a posthole. Archaeologists mapped the limestone wall of the Long Barrack and began soil profiles.

Blue and white ceramic fragment next to a ruler for size
Puebla Polychrome sherd from EU 2B.
Archaeologist measuring length of limestone inside an excavation unit
Archaeologist mapping the limestone wall, photo facing west.
Whiteboard and ruler inside dark dirt floor of an excavation unit
Base of EU-8, photo facing north.

Excavation and final documentation were completed this week for EU-10. Detailed soil profiles were produced by the geoarchaeologist. The stratigraphy indicates multiple cultural depositional layers, including a Battle deposit and several Mission Era deposits.

Archaeologists reached a depth of 80 cm below surface. No features were encountered this week and artifact density is lower than previous levels. Three distinct deposits were identified- the 1912-1913 builders’ trench, a modern intrusion, and the original sediment. Within the builders’ trench most materials were construction related. Interestingly, this unit has the highest quantity of plaster recovered.

In EU-19, archaeologists reached an approximate depth of 80 cm below surface. There was a distinct layer of charcoal in this unit at approximately the same depth as previous units.  There was also an increase in limestone cobbles, suggesting construction. Archaeologists encountered a high artifact density in this unit. Artifacts included a musket ball, gunflint, buckle, and an assortment of Spanish Colonial ceramics.

Archaeologist examining dirt in her hand inside an excavation unit
Geoarchaeologist analyzing the sediment.
Stick leaning against wall to measure soil levels inside excavation unit
Soil profile in EU-10, photo facing east.
Two dirt levels at bottom of an excavation unit
EU-14 at approximately 80 cm below surface, photo facing south.
Three stair levels in an excavation unit
EU-19 at approximately 80 cm below surface, photo facing north.
Alamo Archaeology sticker next to a group of artifacts on a dirt bed found from an excavation unit
Artifacts recovered from EU-19.