Neither Snow nor Rain nor Heat…

…nor gloom of night stays these archaeologists from the completion of their appointed…er…excavations. Although it’s cold outside, archaeologists keep right on excavating until the ground freezes and lately, even in the snow, the crew has continued working at the Smith’s St. Leonard site on JPPM property. An interesting feature at the site that has attracted their attention this winter is an enormous posthole in the area of a colonial horse stable. A posthole is a feature cut into the soil used to hold a surface timber supporting a structure. There are many postholes at the Smith St. Leonard site, because the site consists of quite a few buildings, but the posthole currently ‘WOWing’ us is 6 feet long and over 4 feet deep and is the biggest that many of the archaeologists at the Park have ever excavated. Since this hole is located in the stable area, it is possible that the post was really large because it helped to carry the weight of a hay loft on a second floor. While working very hard to excavate this monster, the archaeologists discovered wood from the original post. The wood was in bad condition after being in the ground for 300 years, so conservators were called in to stabilize the wood until it can be removed.

Yup, it’s cold.

Conservator stabilizing the remaining wood inside the posthole.

*Look for the next blog detailing the conservation treatment used on the wood…


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