A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
We had hoped the bottom of the trench would reveal evidence of even earlier deposits, but no such luck. Apparently, this privy was dug and used exclusively during the 1860s. Privies prior to that must have been located outside the boundaries of the modern Lott property.
During the winter months, if all goes according to plan and the asbestos is removed, we hope to be digging within the basement of the house itself, where we suspect servants may have been living. Next year's work will focus on the south field and in the four corners of the property. Maybe next year will be the year we at last uncover an intact, sealed deposit that dates between 1800 and the 1850s.
We have almost completed the first task of lab work--washing the artifacts--thanks to those dedicated students who volunteered their last days of summer to help. Although we don't have an official count yet, it appears that this year's excavations brought in about 25,000 artifacts on top of the 33,000+ from the previous year. Only three bags of broken window and bottle glass remain to be washed. From there the artifacts will be catalogued, labeled, photographed, and sometimes drawn as well.
Since archaeology is the planned destruction of a site, it is prudent to have as much repetitive information as possible. Things get lost and people make mistakes, but by using redundant recording systems, we insure that the information will not vanish. Many of these objects will never again see the light of day because of limited display space. Down the road, different researchers will require different information; someone who is interested in the artistry of material remains will be interested in how things look; someone else will want to know how many parts and pieces there are. If finds are well-recorded, future scholars will be able to collect the data they need.