Results of Season 1, Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, you can do so here!

So, here are the results of our survey in map form. The basemap used, which has the historic buildings and areas, is from a 1911 R.H. Thompson map made during a King County assessment of the town. This map is on file at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center. These are preliminary maps. Some of these features have been identified, but not fully mapped in (this is one of my goals in the next few weeks).

Survey Transects shows the survey transects that were cut. Surface artifacts are the material culture that were recovered, and roughly where they were found. Surface features are all surface features we identified. Something was considered a feature if (a) it was found in association with artifacts, and/or (b) it had a very geometric design, plan, or look to it, which is usually indicative of human modification. Most of the features either had material culture associated with them, or we very obviously created by humans (e.g. deep square pits). Probable/Possible Surface Features are pits, ditches, and other phenomena that might be features, but did not quite meet our working definition (they were not very clearly geometric, and/or had no artifacts associated with them).

To help preserve the archaeological record and the integrity of the watershed, specific geographical information has been omitted (e.g. geographical location, lat/long, projection information). Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of pictures of the individual features at the immediate moment, but I will have some by next week.

There are a couple of interesting things to note. Bear in mind that all of this is preliminary!

  1. The scatters of artifacts appear, so far, to be on or near the periphery of the site. The two largest scatters are the northeastern and eastern-most ones, and both are outside of the bounds of what we currently know as the settlement’s extent. Of course, it’s likely that there were more houses than depicted here. This is from a 1911 map, and Barneston did not close until 1924. Also, the Issei population increased between 1910 and 1920, based on federal census data, so they probably build more houses. If they did so, though, it would have been to the north and south; the eastern area is dominated by the edge of a large and moderately steep depression!
  2. Several of the features appear associated with important locations. The brick features almost perfectly overlaps part of where a historic household “should be”. The rock formation on the eastern side of the camp is at the southern edge of a garden. Many of these rock formations are anthropogenic (human-made or modified) rock piles, some of which have trash associated with them. I strongly suspect that these are from clearing ground for gardens, and if so, their association with gardens makes sense and makes them an ideal candidate for further investigation. Sampling plant and animal remains in and around gardens may tell us more about the diversity of foods that people ate, and the rock formations may help confirm the gardens’ presence!
  3. In addition, one of the larger pit features almost perfectly overlaps where the historic map says an outhouse should be. Granted, the map was written by someone who did not speak Japanese, and so we should take the labels with a grain of salt. Still, there’s clearly something interesting going on at that location!

In addition to the survey work, we started a surface collection on the northeastern-most scatter. This was the largest visible one, and seemed like it would be a good candidate to evaluate the quantity, quality, and integrity of artifacts on the site. I’ll talk more about this in the next post!

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