We’ve gone quite some time without a formal update here, although we’ve still been at work processing artifacts and, when time and weather permit, conducting follow-up excavations. This summer, on May 31 st , we began our official UNO Summer Field School course, with both undergraduate and graduate students participating. This year, we are opening 3 additional units at the 810 Royal site, all of which are in areas that had been protected under pavements or brick surfaces contemporaneous with the ca. 1801 building. The goal of these units is to expose more of the early Colonial-era ground surface, in the hopes of locating artifact-rich French period features, especially trash pits, privies, or wells. These units also represent our final opportunity to clarify the construction sequence on the lot and to differentiate materials associated with the corner lot from the one adjacent to it.
Excavations this year are just getting to the pre-1788 fire levels in the open units, but already there are some unique finds. Again, we are finding an abundance of hand-built pottery assumed to represent trade with local Native American groups. A number of fragments of shell-tempered pottery with an incised serpentine pattern suggest connections to the earlier Mississippian cultural traditions. French faience and Spanish majolica have also been found in the earlier deposits, including the very rare hand-painted faience shown here illustrated with a depiction of Hercules, identifiable by his characteristic ‘cocked hip’ pose and his club. Thanks to Brent Lanford for help on the identification!
More updates will follow as we complete what we expect to be the final phase of investigations at the 810 Royal site!