W is for Well, Workshops, Water, and WEATHER!
Well at Fort Hunter at the end of field season.
We resume the alphabet this week with the letter W and our focus is on the well at Fort Hunter. We intend to continue excavating the well that was discovered during excavations in 2009. We will be bisecting the well and removing the west side, the goal is to remove another six feet. Last season we removed the top six feet of the well which was primarily ash and coal cinder. We are hoping that this fill represents a later occupation and fill event than the fort. We are optimistic that we will find military artifacts dating to the forts occupants. Excavations at other French & Indian War Period sites have revealed a pattern of construction that includes a well within the walls of the fort. If we are able to date the well to the fort time period, it will help solidify the location of the fort.
corner, inside the stockade line.
The soils surrounding the well date back 3,000 to 4,000 years, based on pottery and prehistoric projectile points. The presence of fire cracked rock suggests there was a Native presence and that the rocks were heated. Research of similar hearth features points to their use for cooking and processing of foods. Additional testing and research is required to fully analyze this feature.
Fire Cracked rock feature near the well.
We are also investigating a feature on the side yard of Fort Hunter Mansion and Park which we are interpreting as a possible road. Excavations in this area will be expanded to aid in this interpretation, but the grooved rocks and tracks pictured in the image below are a good indicators of this activity. Do we dare say Wagon Wheels in keeping with our W theme?
Possible path or road feature, note the water standing in grooved "tracks".
The Workshops will wind down with closing comments by Dr. Dean Snow entitled “The Contribution of Pennsylvania Archaeology to Our Understanding of Past Cultural Behavior and Directions for the 21st Century.” A wine and cheese reception will close out the day and provide an opportunity for reflection and discussion of the presentations.
Look for a link to the brochure and registration information next week- but mark your calendars today for November 5th, 2011.
Thanks to our intern from Elizabethtown College, Maggie Keefer for helping to write the blog this week! Look for more information on Maggie and intenships in a future blog.