Feature 59


by H. Trawick Ward

Feature 59 was located within Structure 12 at 235.0R0.6. At the subsoil surface, this pit was formed by an irregular-shaped expanse of brown loam (Zone 1) that contained bits of fired clay, charcoal, and animal bone. Also found in this zone were potsherds and a variety of European-made artifacts, including gunflints, pieces of lead shot, iron fragments, and both glass and ivory beads. Zone 1 extended to a depth of 0.6 ft and lay atop a brown ashy soil (Zone 2) that yielded numerous animal bones concentrated primarily along the sides of the pit. Zone 2 also produced several European trade items such as kaolin-clay pipe fragments, pieces of lead shot, and glass beads. It was roughly 0.6 ft at its thickest point. Beneath Zone 2 was a layer of fired clay chunks and slabs (Zone 3) intermixed with a small amount of loamy soil. The clay fragments extended across the pit and appear to have been part of a puddled clay hearth that was broken up and placed in the pit. Most of the pieces were rough on one side and smoothed and curved on the opposite side. Beneath the fired clay layer was Zone 4, a brown loamy soil with ash, charcoal, and numerous animal bones. It also contained several potsherds, pieces of lead shot, and a bone-handled knife. In most respects, Zone 4 was very similar to Zone 1.

After excavation, the pit measured 3.6 ft by 2.5 ft and was 1.7 ft deep. The sides sloped in and the bottom was flat, giving the feature a profile resembling a truncated cone.

From the standpoint of activity reconstruction, this is one of the more interesting facilities at the site. Although it is hard to discern the original purpose the pit was excavated to serve (its size and depth suggest storage), the re-filling sequence is fairly straightforward. First, a layer containing food and household refuse was deposited; this was followed by the deposition of the remains of a clay hearth. The hearth fragments were, in turn, covered by ash and debris from cleaning around hearth areas. The pit was capped with another layer of food refuse and household debris.