Tuesday, August 5, 2008

All in All it's Just More Bricks in the Wall

Yes, we found it...the foundation for the original wall. Funny thing is when we started opening up units in the NW corner on the Pickens Street side we expected to find a foundation. However, the foundation I was almost certain we would find was the foundation for Pulliam Motors showroom. I expected that this foundation would have destroyed the foundation for the original wall. Little did I know about architectural supports because what we found was the Pulliam Motors foundation...on top of the original wall foundation. Crazy, right? Yeah, they simply used the original brick and mortar foundation to support the concrete structure foundation, see the picture above. Square 10 revealed the progressive nature of the site through its glimpse in how old remains are just waiting to be discovered below modern remains. One of the reasons we were sure this is the foundation for the wall is due to its shape. The foundation is the same width as the concrete foundation at the top, but then as it goes down it begins to pier out, a technique used for support.

It will be interesting to see if this phenomenon continues as we move down the grid line. We will be placing a row of units down each side of the property between the sidewalk and existing wall. On the Henderson Street side there was a portion of the wall that existed right up until 1969 when they renovated the property. It will be nice to compare the findings once I reach that side.

Ceramics, Nails, Glass...O My!

Since we have opened up units between the wall and the sidewalk we have come across a great many things. Square 8 turned out to be a jackpot of artifacts! This unit is on the Laurel Street side of the wall about 70 ft in from the corner. From looking at old maps and photographs this unit could have been right outside the old greenhouse and together with the artifacts recovered it might be one of our first clues to uncovering remnants of the old structure. Tons of terracotta including small fragments of seedling pots came out of the unit. The presence of this type of artifact does not surprise me if it is from the greenhouse, because what would you expect to find in a greenhouse?...well flower pots of course! Also, more metal and glass came out of this unit than all of the other units combined...another clue to a possible structure. In addition to the terracotta there were also some interesting fragments of ceramics. Two fragments of a transfer printed ceramic with over glazed hand painted motif were recovered from this unit, pictured to the left. The interesting thing about this piece is that it is both transfer printed and hand painted. Though these were common processes for decorating ceramics, I have never seen in on one piece together. It will be interesting to investigate these pieces and what that might mean.

Just to fill you in an what I mean as to transfer-printed ceramic versus hand-painted, here is a little insight. Transfer-print is a technique used where an applique with a design is transferred to the ceramic, then a clear glaze is applied over the print. Hand-painted decorations are just that, hand-painted then glazed over. The piece above was transfer-printed, glazed, hand-painted, and then glazed again, fascinating!