Sunday, November 13, 2005

Historic Day


It was decreed that all expendable office staff (i.e. me and Annie) should spend Friday digging test units with the Historic Crew (reduced to a skeleton: Katie and Wes).

So, Friday morning, quarter past five, I'm up. Two hours before the sun. An hour on the subway followed by the light rail, and then another hour by crew van and
we're there. A farmer's field of deeply furrowed clay soil, soon to be another subdivision or industrial park or whatever.

Damn, it was cold and windswept out there. I would have been miserable had Annie not lent me her rain gear (being an "indoor archaeologist", all I had was cargo pants, a pair of Blundstones and a leather trench coat. Wholly unsuitable). And although I bitched and moaned excessively about the early wake-up, the weather, the tough work and the disruption to my plans, it was an interesting day. Of course, I took photos to share with you...

(That top photo is better viewed in a large format. The flags mark surface finds.)

1812 Half-Penny Token

This was a cool little find: a coin marked with the year 1812. Wow, 1812 is pretty early for Canada, right? Well, the story's a little more complex. Apparently, this is a Tiffen half-penny token which was made around 1832 but with a fake date!


Here's a wacky two pronged fork. "That's because they had fewer teeth back then." Hmmm, not sure if I buy that explanation... I'm told this kind of utensil would have had a bone handle.

Historic ceramic

Some examples of the different kinds of ceramic sherds found. The 1 metre by 1 metre test units had up to 150 sherds in them.


That's Annie on the left and me on the right, toiling away. The site was an old school house, so there were plenty of pieces of slate tablets, slate pencils and ceramic ink bottles found.

Metal shoe guard and buttons

Here are a few buttons plus a metal toe cover from someone's shoe. I bet it got pulled off by the horrible sticky clay soil in this field.

Decorated Pipe Bowl

A decorated pipe bowl: looks like those early 19th century school kids picked up the habit early in life...


nicole said...

looks like a fun day at the 'office'!

Anonymous said...

What I find fascinating: not sure who's hand is holding those items but I can make out their fingerprints! So either you have a really good camera or that person's fingers has deep ridges! either way, it is cool.

Andrea said...

That would be my hand - kinda wrinkly from being in the cold, damp weather all day. I think that my fingerprints are very visible because my hands were dusty, too.

J of G said...

"you kids wanna see a dead body?"

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