Location, Location, Location
It turns out that location is everything in archaeology; At least at the Old Main site. With our unit square originally stationed south of where Old Main once stood, it produced few artifacts. The breadth of our discoveries at -120 N, -47 E largely consisted of fragments of brick, mortar, clinker, and coal. With the exception of one nail and one piece of glass, the variety of our findings was meager at best. Still, the awareness of a lack is just as valuable as hitting the mother load of artifacts—in this case, lack of artifacts supported the notion that our unit square was located far from the original building.
Today we were excited to open up a new unit right on top of the once-standing Old Main. Now at -72 N, -36 E, we worked our way through twelve inches of dirt today and made some intriguing finds. Beyond the usual “building rubble” artifacts, we were also able to uncover some rather interesting mystery items. One artifact, a long strip of tangled aluminum metal with deep ribbing, looked like it could possibly be the covering of some type of air conditioning unit. But due to its mangled state, its identity is still up for questioning. Another interesting item looked like a rusty key at first glance, but actually turned out to be a type of metal latch. In addition to these metal artifacts, we also found various pieces of ceramic white ware and even a small white button.
The disproportion of artifact types found between our two units can hardly be called a coincidence. The nearness of our second unit to Old Main indeed helped us find more artifacts. It did so not only for us, but for other groups digging nearby. Generally, it seems that the further away the unit from Old Main, the less variety in artifacts found. It’s all about location. (MFE LA)