We've now completed three days of field work and we will hopefully finish up later today. This is much longer than I had initially anticipated, but there's a good reason for that - I didn't think we'd find quite as much as we have so far! Nearly every shovel test has been positive, so we are now working on a 5 meter grid as opposed to a 10 meter grid. It's going to be double the shovel tests but it gives us fantastic coverage of the entire yard. Most of the artifacts that are coming out of the ground aren't necessarily the most exciting materials - things like glass fragments, small ceramic sherds, and nails - but they're what you'd expect to find on a domestic site. When you have a house like this that's been occupied for over 200 years there's bound to be a lot of trash in the yard! Even though these artifacts may not look exciting they do help to tell the story of the site, especially when it comes to how the land was used historically. They've also helped us pinpoint a few locations that are worth further exploration.
A Phase I survey is used to locate sites but it doesn't give a whole lot of information other than that. Once we're done with this survey we'd like to move on to a Phase II, in which we can open up some square excavation units on some of the locations that we're curious about and excavate them in much more detail. This will give us a bigger picture of what exactly was going on here. One of the locations we want to look at more is a buried stone feature that looks like it may have been part of a foundation. By opening up a larger unit we can follow the stones out in either direction to see if that hypothesis is true. Before we get to all of this exciting stuff, though, we have to finish our Phase I. That means finishing the fieldwork today then moving on to the hard part. All of the artifacts recovered need to be cleaned, identified, and cataloged. All of our tests need to be mapped and a report detailing our work has to be written. This is going to take some time, so don't worry. Just because we're done digging for now doesn't mean there won't be more exciting news to share here!