Feature 56

Type: Storage Pit


 Length: 2.8 ft

 Width: 2.8 ft

 Depth: 3.3 ft

Volume: 25.87 ft3

Area: 7.84 ft2

Excavation minimap

Related Contexts:

Sq. 250L10

Sq. 250R0

Feature 56


by H. Trawick Ward

Feature 56 was located between Structure 11 and the village palisade at 252.5L9.0, and it probably is associated with that structure. At the top of the subsoil, the fill (Zone 1) from this pit was almost identical to that comprising Zone 1 of Feature 53. It consisted of a brown loam mottled with small particles of orange clay and contained numerous animal bones and fragments of charcoal. Also included within the zone were a large number of potsherds, two bone knife handles, a gun part, and both glass and shell beads. The upper part of Zone 1 also contained a 0.3-ft thick lens of gray ash. This ashy layer was virtually sterile except for a few potsherds and a couple of fragments of burned bone.

Zone 1 was underlain by a brown loam mottled with tan ashy soil and small particles of burned red clay (Zone 2). The artifacts and subsistence remains found in Zone 2 were comparable to those from Zone 1.

The zone of fill, Zone 3, consisted of a mottled orange clay and also was very similar to the lower zone in Feature 53. It measured 1.8 ft in thickness and comprised over half the total volume of the pit. The cultural material recovered from this zone, however, was very sparse.

The sides of the feature were generally straight, although they did slope inward slightly toward the bottom, which was flat. In plan, the pit was circular with a diameter of 2.8 ft, and was the deepest feature excavated on the site, extending 3.3 ft below the base of the plowzone.

The pit morphology and fill characteristics suggest the following activity sequence: (1) the feature was initially used to store and probably conceal an unknown variety of goods and resources; (2) after being abandoned for storage, a large volume of clay soil mixed with humus from an unknown source, perhaps a nearby, freshly dug pit, was dumped into the empty hole; (3) food refuse mixed with household debris and ash was deposited atop the mottled clay; and (4) a larger amount of domestic refuse and fill derived from food preparation and consumption activities was used to completely fill the pit.