Special Edition    Daily Report    October 12, 2004


The Fort Edwards  Archaeologist

Unearthing the Story of Joseph Edwards's Home and Fort    


Report on the Archaeological Excavations at Fort Edwards, home site of Joseph
Edwards and a French and Indian War frontier fort of Col. George Washington.
This second major archaeological excavation is part of the ongoing project of The Fort Edwards Foundation of Capon Bridge, West Virginia, to preserve, protect and interpret the home site and fort site at Joseph Edwards's land grant on the banks of the Cacapon River in Hampshire County, West Virginia. This site represents both an early settler's home of the second quarter of the eighteenth century and a French and Indian War fort in Col. George Washington's chain of forts protecting the Virginia frontier. The excavation is under the direction of Dr. Stephen McBride of McBride Preservation Services of Lexington, KY. This report provided by The Foundation.



Daily Report, October 12, 2004

01 rock Gardner's wall

02 empty rock hole
    You may recall that yesterday we looked at a small pile of rocks in the area of Dr. Gardner's 1990 dig. We hoped that this small pile of rock by itself might be associated with some kind of artifacts. We had photographed them in place and mapped their location so we could keep track of their original position. When we dug them up there was nothing under them. It was a disappointment.


07 features
    This is another example of what we are continuing to find. These features are in the vicinity of the bastion and the abutting cellar features. They are not of a recognizable pattern and give little hint of their meaning. Perhaps they simply represent where water was dripping off a roof or something else was usually tossed here, or they were associated with a door sill or other traffic area.

42 meter pit 6
    This is a meter square exploratory pit that shows us the border of a feature. Unfortunately, it is not clear what this feature is. We may have to excavate the whole feature in order to find out its purpose. The feature (perhaps a cellar) is the deeper area at the top of the photo; the lighter soil in the nearer half is the undisturbed soil. It seems that we are getting more questions than answers!


Volunteer of the Day
24 Cawley     Our volunteer of the day is an old friend. Jim Cawley came all the way from Delaware on his day off to help with the dig. For those who followed our 2001 dig, you may remember that Jim took a week vacation from work to join us then. He was so taken by the project at Fort Edwards that he is now a Lifetime Member. We appreciate his dedication and support. Jim is working part time at a house museum in Delaware and hopes to follow his second career in history. Good luck!


19 trench to spring     Jim is shown here with Kurt and Chris looking for a feature in this trench near the spring. We expect that there must be some section of the stockade wall in the vicinity of the spring since Col. George Washington cautioned his soldiers to protect their access to fresh water in case of a siege. So far we have not found evidence of any wall in this area.


Artifact of the Day
26 artifact of the day
    We did not find many artifacts today, but we did uncover this piece of Delft ceramic. It dates from the eighteenth century. It appears to be the bottom of a mug or bowl or crock. Where are the other pieces?


Some Team Members
23 Mazzy     In the midst of this frustrating search, we would like to take the time to let you get to know some of our archaeological team. Every team needs a mascot, someone to keep our morale up and remind us how exciting life is. Our mascot is Mazzy who comes all the way from Maine to join us. She lives with Kurt, our survey expert. One of them is studying on an advanced degree at the University of Maine. You will notice that Mazzy has well defined features whose lines run rather randomly as do our features. Very appropriate.


11 Rebecca
    Rebecca Hartson is a sophomore at the University of Maine. She is going to major in Anthropology. We feel honored that this is Rebecca's first dig. She is hoping to specialize in Egyptian archaeology and is studying Arabic to be better qualified to work in that area. We wish her well. When she gets to be a famous Egyptologist we hope she remembers that she started out at Fort Edwards. This is her last day with us since she has to get back to classes.


13 Chris
    Christopher Cox is also a student at the University of Maine. Both he and Rebecca came down with Kurt to work during their short college break. We appreciate his help with our project. Unfortunately, our web master forgot to ask Chris what his plans are for the future. He too is leaving to return to school. Best of luck, Chris.


Over Half Way There
    We have now passed the halfway point in our dig. We have come up with quite a few more features or found out more about the extent of some of the known ones. Unfortunately, what we have not found out is exactly how they relate. We can not say at this point that we have found out where Joseph Edwards's house was nor can we say we know much more about the outline of the fort. We still have three more days to explore a few more of the other features and to try to see if stockade lines reappear in other places. What is most puzzling is the lack of artifacts. We know that the fort was probably kept clean by the soldiers, but one would think that in the years before and after the war Joseph Edwards would have disposed of many things in his yard or filled in the old stockade trenches with debris. We will have to spend more time figuring out that puzzle.

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Report for October 13, 2004

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