Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 10, Week 2

This week's primary question concerning the site has been "Why do all the features and artifacts appear broken apart, despite their large concentration?" for Tombecbe saw a myriad of uses after being relinquished by the French. Although the part of the fort we are currently excavating was more or less abandoned, it is highly unlikely that the structural material would have been left in peace. In fact, what is currently being revealed in the units around what is suspected to be the bakehouse suggests that parts of the remains may have seen later use (although it is unclear during which period this may have occurred). All units in the area are turning up bits of pottery, ceramic bone, and nails, with some units holding more rare items, such as pipe stems. So far, nobody has discerned a clear pattern for the layout of these remains. Broken up chalk layers keep showing up, and purposefully cut blocks have also been found. Right now, the ground under those blocks is being examined to see if the soil matches that around the base of the block(indicating that there was no hole dug to place the block in, and that they were thus not of structural importance at the time they were placed there). If this is so, then we have good evidence that the area was used as a salvage yard at some point.

Of course, there are other theories as to why there appears to be an extraordinary amount of rubble. this could be the result of weather changes, for instance, or the combined cause of several factors. It is likely that the chalky subsoil was difficult to construct on; in an attempt to stabilize constructions, the chalk may have been broken apart first. However, many of the building features actually lie below the level of broken chalk; this suggests that the chalk and rubble were not present at the time of construction.

Hopefully, this week's excavations may offer more answers. The written history available to us does not afford insights to many of the troubles that can only be guessed about; for that matter, much of what happened at this part of the site was never written down. We do not know how important these remains might have been after the French left them or why this area was not Incorporated into the later Spanish Fort Confederate. Of course, the nature of archeology is to raise as many questions as are answered; these are just the beginning.

This unit shows what appears to be a supporting block. Whether the block was placed here during construction or a salvage trip is unknown.

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