Feature 61

Type: Pit (Probable)


 Length: 3.7 ft

 Width: 3.2 ft

 Depth: 2.1 ft

Volume: 24.86 ft3

Area: 11.84 ft2

Excavation minimap

Related Contexts:

Structure 12

Sq. 220R0

Feature 61


by H. Trawick Ward

Feature 61 was located near Structure 12 at 223.8L3.8. At the surface of the subsoil, this feature appeared to be a large burial pit, roughly circular in outline but oriented along a slight northwest-southeast axis. The fill was comprised of a single zone, a light brown loam mottled with orange clay. In the first 0.8 ft, an occasional, poorly preserved animal bone was encountered. At a depth of about one foot, a thicker concentration of animal bone as well as other artifacts was noted. Most of the bone was deer except for three intact turtle shell carapaces. In this same general area were several glass trade beads, a kaolin-clay pipe bowl with a split stem, three gunflints, and a large polished-stone disk. A concentration of large Fredricks Checked Stamped potsherds was uncovered at this same depth along the eastern edge of the pit.

Unfortunately, the pit was flooded before excavation was completed, making the lower pit sides and bottom difficult to define. The east wall and a portion of the bottom near the center probably were cut through by the excavators. After excavation, the feature measured 3.7 ft by 3.2 ft and was 2.1 ft deep.

The function of this pit is enigmatic. Apparently, the pit was dug, perhaps for storage purposes or even as a burial container, and then rapidly filled with the same excavated soil. Just before the fill reached the top, a variety of trade artifacts, animal bones, and a broken pot were tossed in. Subsequently, the filling process continued with the same soil.