Pit 96: Level 3

Completed by Odess and David Brinkman on May 22, 2016. As usual in this area, artifact numbers started picking up in level 3 and we begin to notice a lot of charcoal pieces. That soft area on the east side continued and started taking on the color of a significant feature. I was still, however, suspicious of the possibility that we may have dug into another pit. As we continued, the south end of this feature started showing significant amounts of charcoal and I started thinking that we should not have missed this in the adjacent pit. Pulling up the "Finding Granby" web site on my smartphone, I found that the east adjacent pit (pit 58, completed 2 1/2 years ago) had contained a fire pit but that it was on the opposite side of the pit. We decided to carefully work the feature and (as you can see in pictures below) it became very prominent and then disappeared quickly after 50cms. I decided to count it as a feature but after reading the detailed log of pit 58, I realized what happened. In pit 58, the fire pit was found close to the 50cm depth. We cleaned and photographed the pit and then decided to see how deep the feature went. The sifting material was emptied from the wheelbarrow before we started so the last wheelbarrow of dirt would have been the excavated fire pit. That dirt would have been the first that we put back in the hole and I think we must have put it on the opposite side of the pit which is what created our feature. My early concerns about pit 95 overlapping pit 58 were valid. It looks like that's what happened. The ground was just too soft for this to be a 200 year old feature. Instead, it looks like it was a 2 year old feature. It is a good example of how archaeological features are created when a hole is dug and filled. Overall, pit 96 would have been below average in artifact numbers if it had not been for all the charcoal pieces which really came from the fire pit of pit 53. Since most of this charcoal had been previously handled, it is not a good candidate for carbon dating but it did provide a huge sample for our search for more smoked tobacco seed/pods. Careful cleaning, however, did not turn-up a single pod so that find in pit 95 (and one other previous pit) may be very rare and, in fact, some type of ceremonial Native American pipe smoking. In total, we had 32 pieces of pottery, 48 pieces of glass, 13 nails, 6 Native American pieces, 152 charcoal pieces, and 10 iron pieces.

Pit 96: Level 3 produced: 13 pieces of pottery, 24 pieces of glass, 5 nails, 1 Native American piece, 125 charcoal pieces, and 6 iron pieces.

Below is a sequence of photos showing how our "modern day" feature showed (and disappeared) as we dug level 3