Feature 4 (Burial 6)


by H. Trawick Ward

Pit Morphology

Feature 4 (Burial 6) was located near the center of the cemetery at 300.6R75.7. Evidence of this burial pit appeared in the plowzone as an area of dark brown soil containing animal bones, potsherds, and charcoal. At the top of the subsoil, the pit was rectangular in outline and measured 5.6 ft by 4 ft. It extended to a depth of 2.3 ft below the top of the subsoil. The major axis was northwest-southeast. Three of the walls sloped slightly inward at the bottom. The northeast wall was undercut at the bottom, creating a long narrow chamber. As with the other burials within the cemetery, it apparently was excavated with iron tools. When first observed at the top of the subsoil, the rectangular pit had a central zone of dark brown humic loam with pebbles (Zone 1). This dark zone was surrounded by a collar of mottled orange and brown clay (Zone 2), which in turn was encircled by more brown humic loam that contained some clay mottling (Zone 3). Beneath these fairly shallow zones (with a combined thickness of 0.5 ft) was a mottled orange clay (Zone 4) similar to Zone 2 in most of the other cemetery burials. The final zone (Zone 5) lay over the body and consisted of a dark brown humus. The majority of food refuse was found in the west-central band of Zone 1. In general, the zones of fill in this burial were more convoluted and harder to separate than those in the other pits.

Body Deposition

Initial osteological analysis indicated the skeleton was that of an adult male between 25 and 35 years old at the time of death. However, a reassessment of Burial 6 determined that the individual may have been female and was only 19 +/- 3 years old at death. The skeleton was loosely flexed and lying on the right side with the elbows bent and the hands opposite the face. As with the other cemetery burials, the skull was pointing to the southeast.

Grave Goods

Accompanying the burial were a clay pot lying behind the skull, a pewter pipe stem and bowl rim between the face and hands, a large iron hoe near the feet, and a dog-lock musket lying parallel to the northeast side of the body. There was a leather-covered copper-wire bracelet around the left wrist. A pair of scissors and a piece of lead shot were found beneath and immediately north of the pot. Glass beads were located under the pottery vessel and at each heel. Other glass beads were found under the copper bracelet.