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In spite of Indiana weather--a solid week of rain followed by miserable heat--we expanded several units, have a lot of interesting artifacts, and have hosted a bunch of visitors and learned a lot from them.  With less than a week left in the field school's excavation time, here's some of what we've done over the last couple weeks.

green1.jpg (40578 bytes)Pam Peterson's class from Greenfield Elementary School joined us to dig on June 2nd.  It wasn't typical summer digging weather: cold, rainy, and windy, which is why they've all got their arms crammed into their shirts conserving body heat (click on the thumbnailed picture to see it in a larger size). green2.jpg (44846 bytes)Since it was so chilly, the class was really pretty happy to dig.  Here they're revealing the foundations of the Evans Boarding House with help from Jody Hester and Tim Alldredge.
609trench.jpg (97925 bytes)This 10-foot by 3 foot trench (thumbnail right) was placed within the Deschler shop and revealed the laid brick surface on the left of this picture and the adjoining concrete flooring.  Insurance maps show an engine in this part of the meat packing shop.  This thumbnail near right is what the unit looked like on June 9.  A dense deposit of circa 1920-1935 artifacts was recovered beneath this surface, including the medicine bottle Bridget Parkerson is holding (far right).
This letter opener (left) was among the artifacts found in the packing shop's engine room.

The Imperial Mange Medicine bottle (right) came from this same fill that likely was deposited around the time the shop buildings were destroyed.

This small silver spoon probably was not being used in the Deschler shop, and in fact much of the assemblage associated with the Deschlers is typical household trash.  There are some specialized objects that were probably from equipment in the shop, but a fair volume of what we've found looks like their trash and discards from the African-American households that lived at the home after the Deschlers left. springs.jpg (71133 bytes)This now-solidified chunk is composed of thousands of tiny springs (click on thumbnail for larger picture).  Very dense deposits including thousands of these springs were recovered from the shop:  we assume they're from some equipment used in the shop, but we don't know what.


Visitors from the Horizons Program at St. Richard's School peer into the unit Carrie Kissel is digging along the north wall of the meat packing shop while Ken Spencer tells them about the unit.wall.jpg (89318 bytes)  The thumbnail right shows the wall June 13th, when it was already 15 courses deep.  This foundation certainly was much more substantial than we anticipated, since most outbuildings are frame or have modest brick foundations, but the Deschlers built a quite solid structure.
In the Evans Boarding House we've opened a new unit and a trench.  Jody Hester and Nicole Shelton are here in the foreground excavating that unit (and tolerating their 15 minutes of fame while they get filmed by local TV).  Lyn Coles and Ken Spencer are in the background giving a tour and digging with children from Freetown Village's Summer Camp, who joined us June 15th.

Below left Quentin Lewis shows off a unit to Freetown campers.

The unit that Quentin is pointing toward contains a "builder's trench" along the west wall, a space where the builders dug down to place the foundation.  Though they didn't leave many artifacts in the trench, they did leave two horseshoes that are corroded together at the center of this picture on the right.
stopper.jpg (37613 bytes) This glass bottle stopper (thumbnail left) was recovered from a unit within the Evans boarding house.  The boarding house's west end did not contain many artifacts, but the eastern end has had a denser quantity of objects, including this inkwell (thumbnail right). edinkwell.jpg (63197 bytes)
Page, Kaela, and Adam Clemens (right) are screening soil from the Boarding House, which lay in the rear of this picture where Jody and Nicole are shoveling. Here Ken Spencer shows a freshly excavated pig skull to Adam Clemens.  Since there isn't much skeletal material on site, it appears that most bones like this were discarded away from the site rather than on it.

Field excavations will soon end, but in the coming weeks we'll begin to process artifacts and prepare a report on the site's excavation.  In the meantime, check back soon for a brief end of summer report.

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