Tuesday, May 01, 2007

We are digging at the Mission site, which is going to be reconstructed soon. Many things are turning up. There are two phases of occupation by early farmers, from about 800 B.C. to A.D. 50. During this period people lived in small, round houses that had shallow foundation pits.

Click on the pictures to make them larger, if you are so inclined.

The houses below are about two feet below the Spanish Mission level. The house on the left cut through the earlier house on the right. Both houses burned very hard and were filled with chunks of fire-reddened mud (daub) and a layer of charcoal on the floor.

Early Agricultural period pithouses.

I helped dig in the left house yesterday and found a large stone bead, a small spear point, and a mud turtle shell- all left behind when the house burned.

Early Agricultural period points.

The point styles change dramatically through time, so you know within a 100 years or so how old they are, based upon radiocarbon dates of the charred plant material we find.

Donut stone.

This donut stone is about 5 inches in diameter. How these artifacts functioned isn't always clear. Some of these were used to manufacture shell jewelry, although I'm not clear how that worked (I specialize in historic period artifacts).

Molded red pigment, about 6 inches across.

I also found this large lump of raw pigment. Several of the houses have these lumps, which were probably once inside a basket or hide bag that has rotted away. The pigment was probably used on people's bodies, as sunscreen or for decoration, or may have been used on clothing and baskets.

I'll have some more pictures later on, of some of the other exciting things we have found.

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