Burial 1

Type: Burial


 Length: 3.6 ft

 Width: 2.6 ft

 Depth: 2.4 ft

Volume: 22.46 ft3

Area: 9.36 ft2

Excavation minimap

Related Contexts:

Sq. 270R90

Sq. 270R100

Burial 1


by H. Trawick Ward

Pit Morphology

Burial 1 was located at the southeast end of the cemetery at 276.8R90.3. The pit for Burial 1 was first observed as a rectangular patch of dark brown humus containing a generous amount of charcoal, animal bones, and other refuse. It was oriented northwest-southeast, had a maximum length of 3.6 ft and a maximum width of 2.6 ft, and was rectangular in plan. When excavated, the pit was found to have straight walls and a flat bottom, and it was 2.4 ft deep. The relatively flat walls and bottom showed evidence of having been dug with bladed (probably metal) digging implements. The fill was comprised of three distinct soil zones. Zone 1 consisted of a dark brown humus rich in refuse, including charred food debris (animal bones and charred plant parts), potsherds, part of a corroded iron knife blade, and numerous glass beads. The northern half of Zone 1 was noticeably richer than the southern half. Zone 1 rested upon an irregular layer of mottled orange clay with ashy lens (Zone 2) that appeared to intrude Zone 1 in the northern section of the pit. It also contained lenses of grayish black fill which were excavated separately from the mottled orange clay. Zone 2 probably represents a transitional face between Zone 1 and the bottom zone, Zone 3. The latter consisted solely of mottled orange clay (probably a portion of the soil excavated to create the pit) typical of burial fill at other Piedmont village sites. The homogeneity of Zone 1 could have resulted only from the intentional filling of the upper portion of the burial pit with refuse-rich soil.

Burial Deposition

The burial was that of a child of indeterminate sex who died at 3.5 +/- 1 years of age. The child's body was placed into the pit in a loosely flexed position and was lying on its left side. The skull was positioned to the southeast. The right arm lay across the chest, whereas the left arm lay straight along the left side.

Grave Goods

Around the wrist, waist, and shoulders were numerous shell beads that probably had been sewn to a blanket or garment. A bundle containing a latten spoon with a round pecked stone in the bowl, two bone-handled iron knives (see first, second), two pairs of scissors (see first, second), seven lead buttons (also see close-up), and numerous glass beads were located between the face and the southwest corner of the pit. Over the sternum were a large shell gorget and a small shell gorget with punctated designs.