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Brief Conclusions

Unit 5

Greg cleans Unit 5.

Students measure the depth of Unit 5.

Students measure the depth of Unit 5.

The fieldwork in the South Yard of the Stouffer Farm was conducted to gain a better understanding of use of the land in and around the outbuilding. Units within the West Room uncovered the remains of a floor and found a clay pit in front of the hearth.  Based on this discovery and the artifact findings in the units, we believe that we found a trench in the floor, which would have been used for waste and burning. This is supported by the large hearth, deposit of charcoal, and the found discard.

Our later in-lab study of the artifacts across Unit 6 supports this belief, as there were large charcoal deposits in the unit and evidence of provisional discard, in the form of metal, nails, and clinker. There were also discarded items in Unit 5, which lead us to conclude with the theory of a waste pit cutting across the room after the period during which it was used for smiting (because the charcoal and metal were on a lower SU than the waste items).

Megan works with a pick to remove the clay in Unit 6.

Megan works with a pick to remove the clay in Unit 6.

Kaitlyn works on cleaning Unit 6.

Kaitlyn works on cleaning Unit 6.

The pottery deposit suggests the presence and storage of food and other items, so, it’s possible that there was habitation in the West Room before or around the same time as the existence of the pit. This could have been an early living space of the Stouffers, but, given the history of the main house, it is much more likely that, if it did have habitation use, it functioned as a living space for a mill worker — possibly the smith?

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