WWC Archaeological Field School 2001
The Berry Site
Day 11, 6/11/01

Week Three began today with our largest crew yet. New crew members include Melissa Ayvez from Florida, Joseph Bass from Lenoir, Jennifer Cox from Smithfield, and Jessica Smeeks and Lynn Galvin from Morganton. Jeremy McFalls also rejoined the crew. We have another supervisor this week as well: Scott Ashcraft from the US Forest Service in Asheville. Finally, we are pleased to have Fluff Manderson with us this week. Fluff is the Executive Director of the Historic Burke Foundation. The Historic Burke Foundation provided much of the support for David Moore's 1986 excavations at the Berry site. Through the years our research in the area has also been supported by the Burke Historical Society. We wish to acknowledge the support from these local organizations; it would be impossible to carry out our work without them.

We are now midway through our field school schedule. We have successfully identified two probable burned structures and still have one other major proton-magnatometer anomaly to investigate. We will try to get started on it this week. In the other areas of the site we have a number of squares that are ready to be troweled and photographed and mapped. We have also identified our first large feature, Fea. 20, in unit N895E205. This circular pit is about one meter in diameter and at least 10 centimeters deep. Unfortunately, we are able to determine the depth prior to excavation because ther are two deep plowscars that cut through the feature. Caroline, Will, and Scott worked most of the afternoon removing the scars from this entire unit. We'll clean and photograph it tomorrow.

Several pipe fragments have been found throughout the site. Pipes are made from pottery and soapstone and and generally small elbow-style pipes 2-3 inches long. Jared holds one of the larger fragments from the area around Structure 1.Fluff Manderson holds a portion of a pipe stem from unit N866E192.

Working in the excavation units over the burned structures requires a great deal of care. We carefully remove the plowzone with the shovel. On the left, you can see the shovel expose the first layer of soil in which charcoal and burned sands are visible. At this point, we work with trowels to expose the rest of the burned soils. We have found very large fragments of charcoal in the plowzone over the burned soils. On the right, Linda holds a piece of completely charred wood. Amazingly, the charred piece still shows the pointed end that exhibits the tool marks used to cut the pole. Back in the lab at Warren Wilson College, we will closely examine this piece to try to determine if the wood was cut with a stone or metal axe.

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