Feature 3 (Burial 5)

Type: Burial


 Length: 5.1 ft

 Width: 2.9 ft

 Depth: 2.0 ft

Volume: 29.58 ft3

Area: 14.79 ft2

Excavation minimap

Related Contexts:

Sq. 290R70

Sq. 290R80

Sq. 300R70

Feature 3 (Burial 5)


by H. Trawick Ward

Pit Morphology

Feature 3 (Burial 5) was located near the center of the cemetery at 299.2R69.5. The pit for Burial 5 was visible at the top of subsoil as a rectangular area of dark brown, charcoal-flecked fill surrounded by an irregular band of mottled orange fill. In plan view, the configuration of this fill resembled that of Burial 4. The pit was rectangular in outline, with its main axis oriented northwest-southeast. It measured 5.1 ft in length, 2.9 ft in width, and had a maximum depth of 2.0 ft. The pit corners were slightly rounded, and three of the walls were straight. The northeast wall, however, was undercut at the bottom of the pit creating a small side chamber. The bottom was flat and smooth, indicating the use of iron tools.

The burial fill consisted of two primary zones. The upper zone (Zone 1), which comprised the central two-thirds of the pit, was composed of a dark brown loam with an ashy gray lens near the center. This central lens was nearly 1 ft thick. Zone 1 contained charcoal, chunks of burned clay, shell, and both burned and unburned animal bone. Although the dark fill was homogeneous at the top, it became more mottled and blended into a zone of mottled orange clay (Zone 2) near the bottom. Zone 2 contained lenses of dark organic fill and ashy deposits similar to Zone 1. These deposits extended down to the top of the skeleton in the area between the arms and skull and near the thoracic vertebra. A group of large mammal bones in this fill made it difficult for the excavators to isolate the human skeletal remains. However, the mottled orange clay comprised the largest volume of fill in Zone 2 and extended over most of the skeleton. It also extended to the top edge of the pit, forming a broken ring around the dark organic fill.

Body Deposition

The body was that of an adult male who was 41 +/- 9 years old at death. The skeleton was loosely flexed and lying on its right side, with the skull to the southwest. The arms were bent with the hands in front of the face. The body was placed in the northwest half of the pit.

Grave Goods

The remains of a pouch decorated with wampum shell beads and a bird's clay contained two kaolin-clay trade pipes and a bone-handled iron knife. The pouch lay adjacent to the elbow. An iron axe head lay in the area between the elbows and knees.