During the 4th of July weekend, the first phase of the hearth excavation has begun. The 8 foot, mid-17th century “H” hearth was first uncovered in 2012 and has been slowly deteriorating due to exposure. The archaeology team decided we need to excavate the hearth in order to preserve what’s left while gaining information about its construction and timeline.
Below is a short series of pictures showing the detailed mapping, marking, drawing, and recording of the process on Sunday. Once two courses of bricks were removed, the pink granite hall flooring needed to come up since it went in after the bricks were originally installed.
Sifting the material under the Hall (kitchen) floor quickly revealed an earlier hearth underneath. Besides the obvious burnt out hearth stones under the pink granite floor, we found a large amount of charcoal, clay pipe bowl and stem, window glass, window lead, pottery, iron, faunal remains, bottle fragments, etc. This was an unexpected find and now we need to excavate the original hearth next. Another great find (outside of the hearth) was two large fragments of salt-glazed brick. These were originally placed up in the chimney lining to keep witches from entering the home. They will make a great addition to our education program!