Friday, July 01, 2016

The monsoon season has arrived. It is raining in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night. Monsoon storms are not good for archaeological excavations. Jenny and I started to dig a pit structure on Monday. We had exposed the floor by Tuesday afternoon, and tried to cover the house to prevent water from getting in. The heavy rains that night flooded everything and the next morning there was several inches of water standing inside the house.

I am not happy.

I bailed out as much water as I could and in the afternoon I scraped up most of the mud and we covered it again with fence panels, plastic and a tarp.

It rained most of the day on Thursday, but when I got to the site, bailed off the standing water on the plastic, I was pleased to see that the floor had not gotten wetter. 

With help from Deb and Greg, we were able to complete excavation of the house. It dates to the Tortolita Phase of the Hohokam Pioneer period, sometime between AD 500 to 700. It has an offset entrance (one that is not placed in the center of the house). Two large posts with adobe cones mark the transition from the entrance to the house floor. A 25-cm-diameter plastered fire hearth lies inside the entrance. There are four post holes for roof supports on the floor, and a floor groove around the perimeter of the house floor, which was covered with an adobe (mud) plaster.

Looking to the south. The southwest corner of the house was under dirt and was still dry.

There was a scatter of pottery sherds on the floor, as well as some pieces of chipped stone. When I wet-screened the dirt I scraped off the floor, I found part of a sea shell bracelet. Three of the postholes had artifacts in them, in one case a couple of rocks that might have been used as chinking to help hold the post in place. A Y-shaped charred beam was present in the southeast corner of the house. The "Y" would have been used to hold a roof beam in place.

Looking to the north.

The entrance was interesting. It had an adobe step (the top of which might have been plastered but was probably sliced off by the backhoe by accident). Then an adobe passage way running to the adobe cones that were built around a pair of big posts. Smaller posts (about 5 cm in diameter) were found in the floor groove, along with some pieces of reed used as thatching for the walls.

Entrance looking south.

Perhaps totally by accident, the entrance way looked remarkably like a human penis. I do not think this will be discussed in the final report.

Entrance, looking to the east.

You never know what you will find when you do archaeology.

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