Field and Lab Methods

Sampling

The South Grove Midden was excavated over the course of five field seasons from 1990 to 1995 and included a total of 8 10x10 foot test units. This multi-year project, led by Dennis Pogue and Esther White, resulted in the excavation of 400 contexts, 226 midden layers, 7 associated with the builder’s trench for the brick drain, and 1 associated with the brick drain. Excavators water-screened midden layers, taking flotation and soil chemical samples from each. Layers from the builder’s trench were dry-screened through ¼” mesh, with soil chemical samples collected. Twentieth-century layers and intrusions were dry-screened through 3/8” mesh and nineteenth-century layers were primarily dry-screened through ¼” mesh, and both sampled for soil chemicals. Nearly 300,000 artifacts, ecofacts, and faunal remains and 711 objects were found.

In the lab, 100 percent of the heavy fraction, fine-screened material was processed and catalogued. All artifacts and objects were catalogued according to DAACS protocols. Specialized analyses of the botanical and faunal remains were completed and the soil samples have been analyzed for the presence of 10 chemicals. Minimum vessel counts were completed for ceramics and table glass.