New Philadelphia : 2004 Archaeology Report
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS: Block 9
Archaeology For Block 9, Lot 5
Excavation Units 1, 2, & 3
The walkover survey indicates that Block 9, Lot 5, had a very large concentration of artifacts with a mean ceramic date of 1859. The 1939 aerial photograph of the property also shows a structure in the southern and western edge of Block 9, Lot 5. By that time the structure served as a storage place, and the main domestic dwelling inhabited by the Butlers no longer survived on the landscape. Because of the high density of artifacts, and the probability of finding a domestic structure in the area, a geophysical survey was performed on Block 9, Lots 4 & 5 by Hargrave (2004) in April, 2004 (Figure 3.25). Hargrave identified several anomalies in the southwest corner of Block 9, Lot 5 in the approximate location of the structure identified on the aerial photograph. This area is also where the archaeological survey team found the high density of artifacts (Figure 3.26).
Figure 3.25. Resistivity survey of Block 9, Lot 5. (From Hargrave 2004. Grid overlay by Christopher Fennell.)
Figure 3.26. Location of units excavated in Block 9, Lot 5. (Courtesy, Likes Land Surveyors, Inc.)
Excavation Units 1-3 were placed in an area where these three sets of data suggested the presence of a domestic occupation. Generally, the plow zone exists to a depth of about 0.8ft to 0.9ft below the surface. The soil tends to be a very dark grayish brown (10YR3/2) silty loam and clayey silt. Large quantities of brick and mortar as well as household goods are present. Under the plowzone archeologists noticed a darker colored soil (10YR3/2 – very dark grayish brown) when compared to the surrounding subsoil (10YR4/4 – dark yellowish brown) and designated this area as Feature 1. Most of the feature lies in Excavation Unit 2. The western boundary is in the eastern half of Excavation Unit 1 and the northern portion of the feature is in the southern part of Excavation Unit 3 (Figures 3.27 and 3.28). The entire feature measures about 5.0ft by 5.0ft and it extends to a depth of about 0.5 ft below he plow zone. It has a concave shape. The archaeology team bisected the feature on a north-south axis and excavated the western portion. Soil samples were also retrieved for flotation. The materials from the feature date to the late nineteenth century and are predominantly from the Victorian era. The material objects include miniature pewter toys, a large quantity of buttons and thimbles, as well as ceramics, glassware, and iron hardware.
Figure 3.27. Plan view of Feature 1 in Excavation Units 1, 2, and 3, in Block 9, Lot 5. (Image enhanced by William White.)
Figure 3.28. Profile of Feature 1 in Block 9, Lot 5. (Image enhanced by William White.)
During the excavation of the pit feature a local resident visited the site and remembered walking past the structure daily in order to attend the New Philadelphia schoolhouse in the 1930s (Figure 3.29). He described the structure in the location of Excavation Units 1-3 as small and very old with a metal roof and an overhang on the north side. He remembered the structure as dilapidated and in poor repair (personal communications, William White).
Figure 3.29. Identifying the boundaries of Feature 1, Block 9, Lot 5. (Courtesy, Paul A. Shackel.)
At present we know that the artifacts from the feature date to the Victorian era and these materials were probably from a refuse scatter or pile close to the structure. The building may date to as early as the mid-nineteenth-century and may have been built by the Clark family. The structure was not removed until after 1939. After its removal the surrounding soils with Victorian era artifacts were deposited into the feature. Because of the dates associated with the artifacts there is strong possibility that the artifacts are associated with the Butler occupation of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Since the excavations in Block 9, Lot 5 produced a significant number of artifacts from a pit feature, archaeologists conducted soil core sampling in order to locate additional features and possibly define foundations associated with the structure. Two transects of 19 cores each ran in a north-south direction at 5 ft intervals (Figure 3.30). The southernmost portion of transect 1 (T1) is 20 ft north and 20 ft east of the southwest corner of Block 9, Lot 5. The southernmost portion of transect 2 (T2) began 20 ft east of T1, and T2N1 is located 20 ft north and 40 ft east of the southwest corner of Block 9, Lot 5.
Figure 3.30. Coring transects in Block 9, Lot 5. (Drawn by Christopher Fennell.)
Generally, each core sample reached a depth of 1.8 ft below the surface. The uppermost layer consists of a 10YR 3/2 (very dark grayish brown) soil and is located to an average depth of 0.9ft below the surface. The soil is the plow zone. The subsoil underlies this layer and generally consists of a 10YR 4/4 (dark yellowish brown) or 10YR 4/3 (brown) mottle 10YR 3/2 (very dark grayish brown).
Resistance to core probe mostly occurred in the northern portion of T1 and through the majority of T2. At T1N14, T1N15, T1N16, and T1N19, and T2N2, T2N3, T2N4, T2N7, T2N10-T2N17 resistance occurred at an average depth of 0.5 ft below the surface. At T1N1, T1N17, T2N18, T2N9 resistance occurred at a depth that ranged from 1.0ft to 1.5ft below the surface. Because of this resistance the archaeology team placed several excavation units along the two transects in order to determine that nature of this coring anomaly (see Excavation Unit Summaries). Originally, the archeology team believed that this resistance may be a stone feature, like a fieldstone foundation. The archaeological investigations revealed that hard-packed clay caused the resistance.
Other Excavation Units
Because of the coring results and the resistance found in several cores, archaeologists decided to work and decipher the meaning of these anomalies. Excavation Units 4, 5, 6, & 7 were placed in areas where the 1 inch diameter core met resistance. The plow zone varied considerably in this area and subsoil exists anywhere from 0.5ft to 1.0ft below the surface. The soil tends to be very dark grayish brown (10YR3/2) silty loam, and the subsoil is a dark yellowish brown (10YR4/4). The area where the subsoil is closer to the surface may have occurred because of erosion. After excavating these units, archaeologists determined that hard packed clay caused the high resistance during the coring. This area had significantly fewer artifacts than found in the area of Feature I (Excavation Units 1, 2, & 3).