As stated in the introduction all artifacts were found on the surface, therefore no excavation has been done. These artifacts and their documentation are in the possession of a professional organization. These same artifacts and documents are photographed here.
The artifact collection is organized by a grid. The grid location and size are described on the following pages. The collection is grouped by grid ID and defined in that manner.
An Unexpected Outcome
It should be noted that the artifacts have been dated to a period of 1880 – 1920. It should also be noted that the surface scatter of these artifacts is exactly what is described by South (1977) in “Method and Theory in Historical Archaeology”, chapter on the “Brunswick Pattern:”
“This practice of discarding secondary refuse adjacent to the dwellings is the bases for what we call the Brunswick Pattern.
Two types of secondary refuse deposits are defined – – on the basis of the ratio of bone to the total artifact count. A low bone artifact ratio is seen in refuse deposits adjacent to occupied structures whereas a high bone-artifact ratio is seen in those secondary midden1 deposits peripheral to occupied structures – – -.”
This raises a question. Why would this refuse which was deposited in the period 1880 -1920 have the same pattern as refuse deposits described for the period of 1725 to 1776?
The answer may be found in “Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Domestic Site Archaeology in New York State” edited by John P. Hart and Charles L. Fisher, Published by New York State Museum, Bulletin 495, 2000, Chapter 5:
Chapter 5: “Decoding the message in Midden: What can Nineteenth-Century Sheet Refuse Tell Us?” by Nina M. Versaggi
[Versaggi discussing yard refuse/sheet midden1 contents and temporal episodes]
“Hygienic concerns may have forced disposal of food remains far from the dwelling to keep odors and rodents away. Isolated spatial clusters of sheet midden could have related to temporally distinct episodes of disposal associated with the household.”
[Versaggi discussing spatial issues]
” — the presence of later sheet middens can be used to discuss issue of class, as [the archaeologist] Wurst (1993,1994) did for the Upper Lisle Tannery workers in Broome County, New York. During the middle to late nineteenth century, dense sheet midden blanketed the yard areas of worker housing, while the occupants of the adjacent, contemporaneously-occupied tannery owner’s house disposed of refuse in a large vaulted privy rather than as yard scatter.”
[Farther discussing temporal and contextual issues]
“As Larken (1988:30) has pointed out, disposal of refuse in sheet middens was more or less the norm until the first decades of the nineteenth century, when ‘–rural households gradually took up the city and village custom of dumping their refuse in well-defined pits instead of scattering it broadcast.’ [Versaggi continues] Accepting this pattern as a ‘norm’ —from an expected pattern can be discussed in different contexts.”
1 midden – (archeology) a mound of domestic refuse containing shells and animal bones
On the one hand the pattern is exactly what is described by Wurst, on the other hand Larken states that this practice should have disappeared in the early nineteenth century when “rural households” accepted the village ways.
Versaggi’s point of distinct temporal episodes is correct when considering the following history.
It will be noted that this surface scatter of refuse occurred long after Henry or his sons had left this earth. The house adjacent to the scatter is shown on historical maps to have been occupied by Henry’s grandson John (who died in 1883) and then another grandson Epenetus (who died in 1898).
The dating of the scatter tells us that someone else may have lived in this house after either of these men. However, I have found no documentation that supports exactly who lived in home site #2 during the period in question. On the other hand there is a clear path of ownership throughout the history of the property. One cannot be positive if the owner(s) lived there or rented the property.
This scatter will be discussed in the section on class, as suggested by Wurst above.
As mentioned prior the total artifact catalog is in the professional hands. However, the following will clearly depict the totality of the artifacts.
The following photographs and charts are a high level description of the artifacts and their provenance.
1st: The location of the artifact grid, the grid pattern, and the grid configuration.
2nd: Tertiary diagrams depicting artifact density for glass, ceramic/other and combined glass/ceramic/other.
3rd: An artifact assemblage tree depicting the artifact types and quantities.
4th: A list of the key diagnostic pieces and their dates.
As can be clearly seen from the previous grid layout and charts the majority of artifacts were thrown from the doorway on the south side of the home. The previous post depicted the short set of stone stairs that led to that doorway.
I propose that the last person living in that home was disabled in some way. That conclusion is based on the fact that the refuse was thrown from that doorway. This is the exact description and scatter pattern as the “Brunswick Pattern” decribed in the documents above.
We must continue looking into future facts to determine who may have been living in that home during the last part of the 1800’s. The basis for that historical period is depicted in the “Diagnostic Pieces” chart which can be seen immediately after the following “Artifact Assemblage Tree.” This tree gives an overall picture of the surface artifacts.
TYPE DATES Quantity
Solarized (Amethyst) 1875-1915 12
Embossed (Raised Letters) 1800s (script) 2
Two Piece Hinged Mold (diagonal base lines) 1850-1920 1
Seamless steam molded 1870-1920
Ground Top Jars (edge smoothing) 1850-1900 2
Suction Scars (‘Owens’ mold machine 1) 1905-1920 7
TYPE DATES Quantity
White Ware 1830- (smooth) 64
Brown Transfer Print 1890-1920 8
Hand Painted ‘Nippon’ 1891-1921 5
Applied Decal 1890-1940 13
Stone Ware (Albany slip 2) 1840-1920 13
TYPE DATES Quantity
Wood Heater (door only) Approx. 1902 1
Cast Iron Pot ? 1
Roller Assembly ? 1
1 See this site for “Owens Mold Machine”
2 See this site for “Albany Slip”
© Copyright – Waldo Tomosky