Pit 95: Level 3

Completed by Odess and David Brinkman on May 8, 2016. Things picked up in level 3 with good numbers of pottery, glass, and nails. Odess found a split pipe stem and David found our first aqua-blue glass piece which may be part of the bottom of a medicine bottle. The biggest find of the pit would not unfold until the next day after cleaning. Not much notice was given to a small charcoal deposit in level 3 but, nevertheless, it was carefully excavated. Later on, after more care in the cleaning, tiny insect or seed like pieces were found in the charcoal. Microscopic examination and some expert evaluation seemed to indicate that the items are tiny burned seed pods. A lot of time was done researching this and the best guess is that this was the very young flower seed-pod of a tobacco plant. The amount of charcoal we found was, in fact, just about what you would expect to come out of a smoking pipe. Europeans only used the tobacco leaves for smoking but Native Americans were known to smoke these flower/pods in ceremonies.
"Instead of pinching off the tobacco flowers to make the leaves grow bigger, American Indians harvested the flowers (before they went to seed). The most prized smoking tobacco was that made from the flowers. Buffalo Bird Woman related to an anthropologist how the Indians made smoking tobacco, from planting the seed to final cure."
The tobacco discovery was a really cool find. Overall, Pit 95 was, as expected in this new location, below average in artifacts but not by much. In total, we had 14 pieces of pottery, 35 pieces of glass, 17 nails, 4 Native American piece, 3 pipe bowl pieces, 23 charcoal pieces and 7 possible tobacco seed-pods within the charcoal.

Pit 95: Level 3 produced:7 pieces of pottery, 12 pieces of glass, 12 nails, 1 Native American piece, 1 pipe bowl piece, 23 charcoal pieces, and 7 possible tobacco seed-pods within the charcoal.

Below is the charcoal deposit which includes the 7 possible tobacco seed-pods.

Below: Microscope views of the seed-pods.

Below: Microscope 3D views of the seed-pods. Put on your Red/Cyan 3D glasses to get a feel for the real shape of the pods.

Below: We concluded that the following were not archaeological features but just a slow transition of the soil type.

Below: Odess cleaning the artifacts.