Quiet Green Trench 3 (QG3)
This week in QG3, we worked in two contexts. In context 5, we used handpicks to excavate quickly. Context 5 was a light orange, clayey soil. For the most part, it was wet and clumpy, which made it slightly difficult to sift, but didn’t present any other significant problems. We encountered context 6 later in the day. Context 6 was a darker soil that formed a circular deposit on the western edge of the trench. We fully excavated the area, which returned to context 5 when context 6 was completely removed.
The trench did not yield many artifacts this week, particularly as compared to last week. In sifting the soil from both contexts, we found minimal finds of a type consistent with those from previous weeks: brick, ceramic, and glass. We have posited that context 5 is sterile, which means that it is almost completely free of artifacts and that there is no further reason to continue excavating in the area.
In the southeastern corner of the trench, we uncovered a large rock (see picture) that might be cut into a man-made shape. We excavated deeper than the rest of the trench looking for the bottom surface of the rock, so we could have a better idea of whether it had been artificially altered or whether it was a natural formation. Although we took the surrounding soil down about three inches, we could not definitively say if the rock was natural or altered (which meant it could be part of a foundation of some sort, perhaps from the president’s house).
In the southwestern corner of the trench, we have also come across a number of large rocks protruding from the trench’s profile. Next week, we will extend the trench around the southwestern corner and focus our efforts on that area, rather than continuing to excavate the potentially sterile soil in the rest of the trench.
Quiet Green Trench 4 (QG4)
This week in QG4, we made good progress by utilizing large picks. Previously, we had excavated slowly due to differing soil types (Contexts 2 and 3); yet, similar finds in each context have deemed that unnecessary. Our immediate goal, now, was to excavate both contexts for about 10cm at an even level, and assess the finds and soil types once clean.
While, after doing so, Context 2 remains the same – dark, moist soil with few small rock inclusions – Context 3 has all but been removed. Beneath Context 3, we have found an inclusion of large stones, closely packed together – now Context 5. While these stones could be a leech field, though they are rather large for that purpose, they could also be some sort of foundation, or the remains of an old path, or even simply a deposit from previous construction or landscaping. Context 5 will be much of the focus for next week as we attempt to uncover and identify its boundaries. It fits an anomaly seen with Ground Penetrating Radar discovered during last year’s survey of the Quiet Green. Also among Context 5, we discovered several fragments of a brown striped, yellow, glazed ceramic – unique so far in our excavations.
In the remainder of QG4, we found much the same bulk finds – ceramic, glass, metal, and bone – with the addition of two diagnostic glass fragments, from the base and mouth of a relatively large blue bottle, and a fragment of both a clay pipe stem and bowl. Once Context 5 has been delineated, we will continue to lower Context 2 to afford us a section view of the large rock inclusion.Trench QG3: Sophie van Horne Trench QG4: Nathan Lovejoy