Saturday, July 21, 2012

Week Six Recap

Week Six started and ended on a wet note. We spent the morning of our first day bailing out the water from the rain storms over the weekend. We finished up the week on Thursday by prepping the site for the impending storm and were rained out on Friday.

This week a lot of time was spent cleaning units for photographs and mapping the wall profiles of a few of the units. 

Profile picture of east wall of Units 3 and 5.

We also excavated the first of two units laid out to chase the alignment of the large stone and mortar wall. Unit 10 was placed to the north of Unit 1 which was opened during testing last year, while Unit 11 was placed to the south of Unit 4. We have reached the level of the wall in Unit 10, however there is no indication that the wall turns. Rather the stone wall appears to continue straight towards the original 2 ½ story house at 124 Elfreth’s Alley. Unit 11 will be excavated next week.

View of Unit 11 opened to follow the foundation wall.

Remnants of earlier brick patio encountered in Unit 8.

 We also continued work on Unit 8 behind 126 Elfreth’s Alley. Unit 8 was laid to the north of Unit 2 which was opened last summer.  Unit 2 contains the remains of a brick and mortar wall thought to be the foundation of the tenement structure that stood in that location in the 19th century. Upon starting excavation of Unit 8, we encountered what appeared to be remnants of an earlier brick patio. After documenting the brick pavers through photography and scale drawings, the bricks were removed and excavation continued. During excavation, the continuation of the brick wall found in Unit 2 was encountered. The wall, however, is not entirely intact. Many of the bricks and much of the mortar is missing and/or crumbling. Specifically, a lot of brick debris and fall in was encountered in the northwest corner of Unit 8.

Next week is our last week of excavation and we have a lot to accomplish. The plan is to finish work on Units 8 and 11, as well as open up a new unit behind 126. Hopefully the weather cooperates for our last few days!

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