Friday, October 31, 2008

Diggin' in

Jonathan Fowler explaining his finds to Jim and Pauline How.

Archaeology involves a great deal of contemplation.

This past weekend brought another visit from our friendly neighbourhood archaeologist. Jonathan Fowler, from St Mary's University in Halifax, has been digging intermittently at the deGannes-Cosby House on St George Street over the past two years. A visit from Jonathan and his crew is always refreshing. They always have a great deal of enthusiasm for archaeology which I belive is a testament to Jonathan's abilities as both an archaeologist and as an educator.

I will only mention the deGannes-Cosby House in passing as it will be the subject of a blog in the future. The house itself celebrated its 300th anniversary this summer with great pagentry. This building is without a doubt one of Canada's architectural treasures. The house's current owners, Jim and Pauline How have been very gracious in sharing their residence with the community through they years. The Hows are also generously funding the archaeology at the house.

This past weekend was an extension of the work which was done in the summer of 2007. When they were digging at the front of the house that summer, they had discovered a cobblestone type surface about 25cm below the surface. These cobblestones, known as pave, were a very exciting discovery as they would have been a freature sometime around the time that the house was built in 1708. This time, the crew were digging on the oposite side of the front door and hoping to discover a matching pave surface. As often happens with archaeology, they didn't find what they were looking for. They also didn't find any gold although a nice early Victorian penny did come to the surface. Other finds included many pottery shards including a couple of nice examples of Rennish pottery, a forged iron hook and the ubiquitous clay pipe stem.

The image at the bottom of this post shows the pit itself. The distinctive feature of this pit is the large root which cut almost directly though the middle.

All for now,

1 comment:

  1. When my father, William S. Thorne, owned the Melanson property he found a leather pouch full of French coins at the old basement site. Also a hollowed-out rock that looks as it was used as a vessel or bowl of some sort, which I still have to this day. My brother and I used to set up pottery on the remains of the basement and threw rocks at them when we were young.