Today was hotter and there was less of a breeze than last week, but we continued to excavate shovel tests in the shade, which made it much more tolerable. All of us are testing on the east side of the historic Martin House adjacent to a large gravel parking lot. There are plans to extend the parking lot and this area could potentially be impacted by construction. By testing the area, we can understand the nature of the archaeological deposits.
Paul, my digging partner, and I were shovel testing and we noticed that our soil was much darker than the soil in the other shovel tests. About 25cm (10 inches) below the surface, we found an interesting feature indicated by obvious soil differences within our unit (see photo to right). A feature is tangible remain in the soil as a result of human activity. One corner was strong brown mottled clay and the rest of the unit was grayish/brown loam. What made it particularly interesting was that the line that distinguished the two soil types was nearly perfectly straight. It appeared that there was an intrusive clay feature for unknown reasons. We excavated the interesting clay deposit down past 60 cm (about 24 inches) below the surface and it was still as evident as when we begun. This feature modern or otherwise became our mystery feature; it had everyone puzzled and guessing the source of the disturbance.
It seems that often in archaeology a lot of questions get raised and only some of them can be answered with any certainty.