Friday, September 18, 2009

Excavations at Fort Hunter Commence

well feature and adjacent ice house

Shortly after removing the backfill encapsulating the 2008 excavation block the discoveries continued. One objective of reopening last year’s dig is to establish the relationship between the circa 1790 ice house and the adjacent structural feature interpreted as a well. While clean troweling the current floor of the surrounding excavation units a handful of stone chipping debris and two quartz tempered cord-marked prehistoric ceramic sherds were recovered indicating that this particular location along the banks of the Susquehanna River was a favored spot long before any French and Indian War fortifications were erected.

prehistoric ceramic sherd

Additionally, a series of five by five foot units have been dug to connect with areas excavated in 2006 and 2007. Fort period artifacts recovered from the upper stratum of these units include a large gun flint of English flint and a piece of scratch blue salt-glazed stoneware. Other diagnostic artifacts reflect a mix of the late 18th and 19th Century such as hand painted and transfer-printed pearlware, creamware, and porcelain.

scratch blue salt-glazed stoneware and English gun flint

This Sunday marks the annual Fort Hunter Day at the mansion and surrounding park. Archaeologists will be on hand to answer questions from the public and volunteer sign-up sheets will be available for those wishing to assist us in finding the fort at Fort Hunter Park.

For more information, visit or the Hall of Anthropology and Archaeology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania .

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