Posted by: Madhumita Basu | June 21, 2007

South Extramural Area: June 21, 2007

Today, we devoted most of the day excavating Feature 15, which is a semi-circular pit bordered by pieces of sandstone rocks. The feature is along the northern wall of the unit with Northings 96 and 97 and Eastings 501 and 503. The fill of the feature constitutes of a mix of different soil types, such a reddish brown and a light brown sandy-silt deposit; the fill also consisted of some ash along with charcoal flecks. What is unusual about this feature is that it seems to have been dug into sterile soil, which ideally should not contain any cultural deposits. However, the pit is approximately 19 centimeters deep and it goes well into the sterile soil.

We found a lot of artifacts in this feature, including two almost whole ceramic vessels. The types of ceramics unearthed included two different types of corrugated pottery, as well a few sherds of Little Colorado white ware. The positions of the vessels in the pit seem to indicate intentional placement because the sherds were found standing vertically in the soil and the almost full pots were placed on their sides.

Although no burning seems to have taken place in the pit itself, one potsherd and one piece of sandstone were burned prior to placement. So far, the feature is not thickly concentrated with ash and charcoal indicating in situ burning.

By the end of the day, we had almost finished excavating Feature 15. In the process, we mapped everything in the pit in detail because we had to remove the artifacts and sandstone pieces to reach the areas underneath. The maps will act as reference material later when the feature is analyzed in further detail.



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