Back row (right to left): James Norton, Adam Rezac, John Cahanin, Matt Timmer, Andrew Humble, Wes Keifer (volunteer), Doug Angeloni (volunteer), Bill Pickard (OHS). Middle row (right to left): Amber Wallace, Erica MacDowell, Joseph Snider, Austin Van Meeter, Monika Smith. Front row (right to left) Bob Brown (supervisor) and Dr. Annette G. Ericksen (Instructor).
Thursday was an exciting day.
We were visited by George Strake, the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. He was in the area working on a research project relating to the 1846 removal of the Miami from Indiana on the Wabash and Erie and Miami and Erie Canals and took some time to visit the site.
The crew opening up units on and surrounding the features discovered last year made great headway. They should have all of their units dug and be ready to investigate the features early this coming week.
The second area of investigation is already proving very intriguing. But first a little background. In October 2002, Bill Pickard, volunteer Dan Bartlett and I were doing a systematic metal detector survey of the Pickawillany area to see if we could find artifact concentrations that would pin point where the traders had their cabins. Dan had one strong signalled hit that we have since affectionately call the “Dan-banger”. We started digging down to the hit and at about 20 cm below surface the signal kept getting stronger but we noticed we had encountered what looked to be feature fill so we ceased digging hoping to come back at a later time to properly excavate the feature.
Fast forward almost 8 years. In the last couple days of digging in the plow zone above the feature we have found flint flakes, fire cracked rock, a brass arrow point, animal bone fragments, a brass vent pic (gun part) and buckshot (photo 2). On Thursday the 2 x 2 meter unit disclosed the feature. You can see a darker brown soil rimmed in orangish soil on the upper right side of photo 3. On the bottom right side of the feature you can see our 2002 round metal detector hole. The feature appears to extend outside of the excavation area so new units will be opened to help define the extent of the feature. Could this be a cooking pit that was later used as a refuse dump or is it a trader’s cellar? Whatever it may be, more will be revealed this coming week and we’ll keep you posted!