Long Barrack Archaeology Update - October 27

October 27, 2023

Due to rain, archaeologists had a short excavation week. EUs 1, 3, and 5 were active and lab work continued throughout the week. Although the three units are in the same general area, they do not exhibit uniform stratigraphy.

In EU-1, there are multiple soil changes that indicate distinct deposits and could be related to modern utility work. At the end of the week the unit reached a depth of approximately 80 cm below datum. The perimeter wall footer revealed last week continues to be revealed. Notable artifacts from this unit include ceramic sherds, glass, metal, and a pipe stem.

Dirt excavation area with pipes
EU-1, facing north. Note the exposed wall footer.

By the end of the week EU-3 reached an approximate depth of 80 cm below datum. The perimeter wall footer was also exposed in this unit and, like EU-1, continues deeper. Two additional features were encountered in EU-3 this week. Feature 3 is a limestone foundation or footer located in the southeast corner of the unit. The limestone still has intact mortar. The feature was initially encountered at 60 cm below datum and continues to at least 82 cm below datum. The feature has not been fully revealed, so more to learn about this structural element. Feature 4 is a compacted surface that is located in the southwest corner of the unit. The surface is fairly level across and is at a depth of 74.5 cm below datum. The relationship between these features is still unclear, further excavation and analysis is required. Artifacts from this unit include ceramics, metal, lithics, and glass.

Dirt excavation area with pipes and rocks
EU-3, facing north. Note Feature 3 in the southeast corner and Feature 4 in the southwest corner.

Excavations also continued in EU-5, although water infiltration from the rain did cause a delay. Unlike EUs 1 and 3, no features have been encountered in EU-5. However, a distinct charcoal-rich silty clay deposit extends across the unit and has been present for three levels, making it at least 30 cm thick. Another distinct characteristic of this deposit is that it contains a lot of cultural material. Artifacts include Spanish Colonial ceramics, Goliad ceramics, European Earthenware, lithic debitage, glass, gunflints, and two musket balls. The diverse date ranges of the artifacts from this deposit indicate this is a mixed context deposit. However, further excavation and analysis will reveal more about this interesting deposit.

Dirt excavation area with white sandbags on both sides
EU-5, facing north.

Although the unit does not have the features or soil changes of EUs 1 and 2, the artifacts coming out of this unit provide plenty of excitement.

Glass and ceramic artifact fragments next to a ruler for size
Musket ball next to a ruler for size
Glass bottle next to a ruler for size