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The initial 1852 excavations at the site believed to be the "Aptucxet Trading Post" by Dr. William Batchelder and William Russell were carried out with the intent of discovering artifacts that the Pilgrim forefathers used. Russel stated in 1855 when his Pilgrim Memorials was published that "...no tradition exists as to the trading house of the colony; it having been generally a matter of conjecture only that some kind of defense was erected there against the Indians , though previous to the year 1685."(Russell 1855:149). By the middle of the nineteenth century, interest in the Pilgrims and their history was increasing and sites connected to them were sought out. Myles Standish's house was excavated in 1856 by James Hall, but Batchelder's 1852 work at the Aptucxet site marks it as the first historical archaeological investigation in Massachusetts that is known of at this time. But it should be noted that even before Batchelder and Russell began their work, no one remembered that the trading house was even in the area.
The Aptucxet Trading Post Museum site is located 1 1/4 miles from the mouth of the Manamet River on the its south side. It contained two cellar holes located 100 yards from the high water mark of the river where an excellent fresh water spring issues from the bank of the river, which Batchelder stated was the first spring from the mouth of the river. Prior to any work at the site, it was assumed by the inhabitants of the town to be some type of blockhouse probably dating to the years of King Philip's War 1675-1676. Batchelder and Russel assumed from the start that it was the location of the trading house. Modern archaeological control was of course not in practice yet so the exact location of all except one of the three "major finds" is not known, but they all generally were found in the northwest corner of the western cellar hole.
Batchelder described the excavation in 1857 in a letter to the Massachusetts Historical Society:
"Five years ago, myself and an accomplice exhumed the eastern wall
of the western pit. It was built of small flat stones, with natural faces,
neatly laid in shell-lime cement, which still preserves considerable cohesion.
Near the northern corner, there is a little cuddy cut through the wall and
in the blank behind, lined all around with the same material, and in the
same neat, workmanlike manner...The most notable relics we found were
two fragments,-the one, of a knife blade, about two inches in length and
half an inch in breadth, resembling a broken shoe knife blade; the other,
of a hoe, which must have been of ample dimensions and weight. This may
be seen in Pilgrim Hall, at Plymouth. The length of the cellar-wall was
about eighteen feet...Knowing that the Plymouth Trading-house must have
been established somewhere in the vicinity, and having received some
documents from the ancient records, through the aid of William Russell Esq.,
of Plymouth who was searching for the same object, I was able to
identify the site beyond a doubt. " (MHC 1857:253).
All of the artifacts recovered by Batchelder were assumed to be ancient and therefore belonged to the trading house.
Along with the assumption went documentary evidence compiled by Russel, which appeared to confirm the identification. The main document cited in Russell's work was a land deed from the Plymouth court to James Skiffe in 1655. In this description the land is described as being where the Company formerly had a trading house (PCR 1655:84).
It is not known when Percival Hall Lombard became interested in finding the location of the trading house. He may have come across the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society from 1857 when Batchelder reported what he found or he may have heard from other residents about the excavations or the legend. Most likely it seems from some of the references which he uses in his works, he read William S. Russell's work "Pilgrim Memorials" which details Batchelder's work and the history of Manamet. Lombard did report that in 1920 he contacted Arthur Lord who was the President of the Pilgrim Society at Plymouth "the able first Chairman of the Pilgrim Tercentenary Commission" (Lombard 1953:16) with the idea that an excavation of the site should be attempted before it is lost "rescuing from oblivion the site of this ancient landmark where was laid one of the corner stones in the foundation of the nation's commerce."( Lombard 1968:16).
1995 Field School University of Massachusetts Boston
The 1995 summer field school from the University of Massachusetts at Boston was conducted at the Aptucxet Trading Post Museum in Bourne to further ascertain whether of not there is any evidence present of a circa 1627 occupation at the site. The fieldschool was directed by Dr. Barbera Luedtke and the author served as the graduate student director. It was decided between Dr. Luedtke and myself that she would write up the analysis of the Native material and I would write up the colonial. As has been outlined before, the evidence to prove an earlier than 1673 occupation at the site would take the form of either ceramic sherds temporally diagnostic to that period as seen at other Plymouth Colony sites, and a clay pipe histogram comparable to that seen at the other sites looked at previously.
Three hypothesis were formulated following the 1994 reevaluation of the material in the collection. These were created with the intent of discovering if indeed this was the site of the Aptucxet Trading House. Negative evidence, such as the argument that the trading house was on the site but left no tangible remains, were not considered valid proof of its existence. The three hypothesis are as follows: 1) the Aptucxet Trading house was at the same site as the later house excavated by Lombard, or was expanded to create the larger house present at the site sometime after 1627; 2) the Aptucxet Trading House was not at this specific site excavated by Lombard but was located somewhere on the present property of the Bourne Historical Society; 3) the Aptucxet Trading House was never at this site and the late 17th to early 18th century occupation discovered by Lombard is the only European occupation at the site. This final hypothesis is not mine alone. A number of other archaeologists whom I spoke to stated that they did not believe it to be the original site as well. In fact, Leon Cranmer, who excavated the Cushnoc site, stated in 1990 that he did not believe it was the original site either (Cranmer 1990:55).
These hypothesis were tested using three excavation and testing strategies. First, a grid of staggered transects with shovel excavated test pits spaced 10 meters apart was excavated from the street to the south of the structure to the canal (Figure 21). If the trading house was located somewhere on the property but not immediately at the area excavated by Lombard (Hypothesis 2) then remains such as yard scatter should be found. The second strategy was to place a tight five meter staggered transect grid extending 30 meters to the north, south, east and west from Lombard's excavation (Figure 22). If the trading house was located in this area (Hypothesis 1), yard scatter and the expected postholes of the structure should be encountered. Finally, any test pit which showed the potential of illuminating more of the history of the site would be enlarged by means of a one by one meter excavation unit. This would allow for a larger view of interesting features or areas.
The results of these testing strategies can be summarized as follows. The 10 meter staggered transects resulted in the discovery of an 18th to 20th century house foundation and well located just off the street (Figure 21), and early to middle 20th century trash midden to the west of the approach road to the museum, and a native lithic activity area located to the west of the museum. No remains of colonial activity earlier than 1690 were discovered. It cannot be said that any remains of the trading house were not found because it was too small for the 10 meter grid. The native activity area was a great deal smaller than the approximately 20 feet square house and it was found. It is safe to conclude that the trading house was not located anywhere on the museum's present property. It is known from Lombard that 100 feet of land extending towards the museum from the river was removed during the construction of the Cape Cod canal, and there is no way to prove that it was or wasn't. But as was stated before, we were not there to argue negative evidence, but to discover evidence of activity dating to the early seventeenth century.
The second testing strategy had greater success discovering 17th century material. The five meter grid 30 meters from the house was begun on the south side of the structure with the transects labeled alphabetically A through P east to west. Immediately material was recovered and features found. Material became more concentrated as testing moved closer to the building and tapered off to the north and east sides of it. It would appear that the activities on the site which resulted in trash accumulation were focused on the south and west yards.
Unfortunately of the material found, none could be specifically dated to the early 17th century. Twenty-two potential features or soil anomalies were found in the shovel test pits. The following chart outlines the features found, their locations, the initial interpretation and if any one by one meter squares were placed around them to investigate them further.
After the initial testing of the entire property, several shovel test units which had produced interesting features with the potential of answering some of our questions were selected to be expanded into 1x1 meter Excavation Units (EUs). A total of 16 Eus were excavated at the site. Fifteen of these were excavated within the 30 meter intense occupation zone around the museum itself. The other unit (EU 14) was excavated to the west of the site where a prehistoric lithic scatter was discovered during testing. Luedtke reported this unit and all of the prehistoric features and artifacts in her report in 1997. The following discussion reports each unit numerically. The reasons for the placement of the unit, the soil profile, the features encountered and the artifacts recovered are discussed for each unit. Wall profiles for each of these units are provided in Appendix 4.
Excavation Unit 1
This unit was placed to the south and east of the front door of the museum. Evidence of a possible posthole was discovered in shovel test pit F-07 yielding shell, bone, nails, glass, clay pipe fragments and ceramics. This unit was placed to determine three things: if this was in fact a posthole; if so was it associated with a structure or a fence; and if this was a feature, when did it date to. It was hoped that this feature would relate to the original trading house which it is believed was built in the earthfast construction technique. This technique, as discussed would leave evidence in the ground in the form of post holes.
The soils in this EU were similar to those in the rest of the South Yard. The yellow brown preoccupation subsoil followed a 35 cm thick layer of dark brown to black humus soil. Disturbance other than the posthole feature was noted in the form of buried power lines 35 cm below the ground surface in the north half of the unit.
The feature uncovered in the shovel test pit was located in its north west corner. It was recorded as being approximately 25 cm in diameter an extended to 80 cm below the ground surface. EU 1 was placed to the north of the test pit in order to capture most of the feature. Due to the plowed and disturbed nature of the upper soil at the site, the feature was encountered in EU 1 at 30 cm below surface and was labeled feature 1. At the same time one other feature was located almost directly in the center of the EU. This feature was a circular stain, possibly another posthole. This was labeled feature 2.
Feature 1 was found to be the continuation of the posthole which was discovered in the test pit. Seen in plan, Appendix 4, it can be seen to be a roughly oval shaped stain. The feature bisected in half by the south wall and its profile was drawn upon reaching its base. Seen in profile, Appendix 4, it was found to be a fairly classic posthole shape with a wide top at 35 cm below surface and a shape tapering to narrow at the base at 84 cm below surface. Within this feature were found the following artifacts:
Shell: 750.5 grams Charcoal: 14.2 grams Bone: 357.2 grams
Nails: 13 fragments Redware: 32 fragments Clay pipe: 5 fragments
Delft: 1 fragment Glass: 3 fragments Metal: 3 fragments
Brick: 1 gram Plaster: 11.9 grams
The dating of the feature was crucial to determining if it dated to the early seventeenth century or the late. The clay pipes from the feature had the greatest potential to help date the feature. Three 7/64" pipe stem were recovered. These date from 1650-1680. The other pipe fragments recovered were too small to use for analysis. It appears that this feature dates to the later part of the seventeenth century and could not have been associated with a 1627 structure. This feature may have been associated with another feature which was uncovered in this unit but not labeled a feature until later. This is the trench which appears to exist on at least two sides of the museum. Possibly if this trench dates to the 1670s-1680 then this post hole was excavated into the trench after it was filled. This would account for the artifacts recovered from it.
Feature 2 was determined to be a rodent, probably woodchuck, burrow. This was decided due to the jagged shape to the feature when seen in profile which is associated with rodent burrows. There also appeared to have been a fair amount of rodent activity present within this unit as much of the soil at the interface with the yellow brown soil was mixed and churned as one finds in collapsed rodent burrows.
Artifacts from the unit, except for those outlined above from feature 1 consisted of the following materials:
Shell: 1675.5 grams Charcoal: 25 grams Bone: 394.2 grams
Burned Nut Shell: 1 frag Blue Glass Bead: 1 Clay pipe: 32 frags
Redware: 53 fragments Slipware: 1 fragment Bottle Glass: 2 frags
Flat Glass: 17 frags Lead Bale Seal?: 1 Brass Scrap: 1 frag
Flint: 1 frag Metal: 3 fragments Nails: 88 fragments
Brick: 1964.4 grams Cement: 12.9 grams Mortar/ Plaster: 84.8 grams
Coal: 1.6 grams
This material was recovered from the disturbed soil above the feature and above the subsoil. As a result of the fact that it has been mixed and churned due to plowing, the 1920s excavation and recent work burying powerlines, it is considered as one unit in the analysis. This will hold true for the other EUs as well.
Excavation Unit 2
This unit was placed close to the northeast corner of the parking lot approximately five meters to the south of EU 1. This EU was placed here to investigate a high density of shells from a test pit in this area. The soils in this area were similar to those from the other Eus in the south yard. There was approximately 30 cm of dark gray plowzone overlying a very dark grayish brown layer approximately five cm thick. This soil overlaid the yellowish brown subsoil.
One feature was noted in the southeast corner of the unit. Feature 5/ 6 was first noted at the 25-30 cm level. At this later the soil appeared to be light brown gray mottled with yellow brown soil. This feature became more defined as excavation continued. By the 30-35cm level it was noted that there was a charcoal concentration in this feature.
The south wall bisected this feature and a profile was drawn. It appeared in plan at 45cm as an irregularly shaped stain. In profile it appeared to taper to a point before disappearing at 78 cm below surface. This feature did not contain a great deal of artifacts with all of them being recovered from 30-35cm below surface. The artifacts recovered were:
Shell: 19.7 grams Redware: 3 fragments Brick: .2 grams Charcoal: 3.6 grams
Nail: 1 fragment Bone: .6 grams.
It is not known what the function of this feature was or if it was natural or man made.
The artifacts from the rest of the EU were as follows:
Shell: 564.4 grams Bone: 195.4 grams Redware: 98 frags Tin-Glazed: 3
Clay pipes: 26 Plaster/ Mortar: 12.6 grams Brick: 268.2 grams
Bottle Glass: 5 frags Flat glass: 13 frags Metal: 12 fragments Nail: 50 frags
Charcoal: 24.7 grams Coal: 11.6 grams Flint: 4 frags
Excavation Unit 3
EU 3 was located directly to the west of EU 2 approximately five meters away. This unit was placed to further investigate the substantial yard scatter in the south yard. The soil in this unit was the same colors and textures as the other units. No features were noted. Artifacts were recovered to a depth of 45cm below surface. The artifacts recovered were as follows:
Shell: 269.2 grams Bone: 179.5 grams Redware: 50 frags
Tin-Glazed: 4 frags Slipware: 2 frags Clay Pipes: 30 frags
Flint: 6 frags Mortar/ Plaster: 98.6 grams Brick: 1573 grams
Charcoal: 5.4 grams Nails: 55 frags Cement: 13.4 grams
Bottle glass: 8 frags Flat Glass: 9 frags Brass Buckle: 1
Glass Bead: 1 Silver Nail: 1 Metal: 1 frag
Coal: 2.3 grams
Artifacts of note were the silver nail head which was probably a decorative element from a chair or chest and an amber colored glass bead.
Excavation Unit 4
EU 4 was located five meters to the west of EU 3 and was placed to investigate a deep deposit of sand located in the test pit H-6. The soil layers appeared the same as the others in the south yard. One feature was noted at the 20-25 cm layer. This feature appeared as a 75 cm by 50 cm half circle primarily in the south west quadrant of the unit and was 10 cm thick. The coarse sand fill contained the following artifacts:
Shell: 79.4 grams Bone: 4.8 grams Redware: 1 frag
Nails: 14 Brick: 70.7 grams Mortar/ Plaster: 158.8 grams
Pry Bar: 1 Bottle cap: 1 Charcoal: 1.1 grams
Clay Pipes: 2 frags
This feature is relatively recent and in fact probably dates to the 1920s reconstruction of the house. This is believed for two reasons. The first is the artifacts which were recovered. The majority of the nails are of the common wire type. These nails are round and are the same nails as we use today. Older cut or handwrought nails have a square to rectangular cross section. The other artifacts are the pry bar which is a
broken fragment discarded probably soon after it broke and the mortar which matches the mortar on the reconstruction. The second reason is that Lombard stated that he had dug in this area in 1929. On Wednesday August 14, 1929 he recorded that "We also dug into the dump of oyster shells and ashes at the right of the north entrance, but found nothing of interest." (Lombard 1929). It appears in this instance and in a few others that he confused north with south. This feature is in the right area to be the one he created and the mixture of seventeenth and twentieth century artifacts supports this.
The actual feature into which Lombard had excavated was not fully realized until after excavation was completed and other units were opened. Due to the depth to which the artifacts were being recovered that there was some type of disturbance in this unit. Artifacts were found down to 60 cm below ground surface. This is unusual because most of the other excavation units which were not disturbed yielded artifacts until only approximately 40-45cm below surface (see EU 3 and 7).
The rest of the EU contained the following material:
Shell: 2222 grams Bone: 610.4 grams Redware: 136 frags
Nails: 175 Brick: 987.6 grams Mortar/ Plaster: 739.7 grams
Metal: 8 frags Brass hook: 1 Brass scrap: 1 frag
Pewter : 1 frag Clay Pipes: 28 frags Delft: 3 frags
Charcoal: 35.5 grams English Stoneware: 1 frag Redware pipe: 1 frag
Flat glass: 13 Bottle glass: 7 Flint: 2
The density of many of the artifact classes such as shell, bone and redware, indicate that a fairly substantial amount of material was deposited within this area. As can be seen in the west wall profile, several layers of different colored soils were noted beneath a layer containing several large cobbles. It is believed that the feature present in this unit was part of a trench or ditch system which extended on at least two sides of the structure. This observation will become clearer when EUs 5, 12, 13, 9 and 16 are discussed. It is believed that this unit was directly inside of the feature and this is why it was not more readily apparent during excavation.
The artifacts from this feature help to date it. The English stoneware was of a type called English Brown Stoneware. This type of stoneware was made in Fulham, England from 1671 to 1775 (Hume 1969:114). The fragment of red clay tobacco pipe dates from 1660 to approximately 1675 . The other pipe stem fragments were as follows: Mean date 1690.5
8/64 (1620-1650): 2 (15.4%)
7/64 (1650-1680): 3 (23.1%)
6/64 (1680-1710): 5 (38.5%)
5/64 (1710-1750): 3 (23.1%)
The mean date for this feature was calculated using the Binford technique at 1690.5.
One clay pipe bowl was also identified to type based upon it shape. This bowl was a type 1 and dated from 1680-1710. Combining all of these data together, it appears that this feature dated from the late seventeenth to early eighteenth century.
Excavation Unit 5
Excavation Unit 5 was placed 20 meters to the west of unit 4 adjacent to a test pit J-6 which yielded evidence of a historic period feature containing much shell. This feature was encountered at approximately 35 cm below surface beneath a very dark brown loam. It continued to 90cm below surface. The eastern edge of the feature appeared in the test pit but the western edge was not encountered during the excavation of EU 5. The fill of this feature consisted of a very dense deposit of mainly oyster shell with soft shell clam, quahog and whelk mixed in. Intermingled with this shell was a high density of artifacts:
Brick: 599.7 grams Shell: 68671.5 grams Bone: 921.9 grams
Metal: 21 frag Nails: 81 frags Redware: 106 frags
Flint: 16 frags Flat Glass: 1 frag Bottle Glass: 3 frags
Clay Pipes: 14 frags Charcoal:427 grams Brass Button: 1
Silver Button: 1 Brass Pin: 2 Delft: 24 frags
Slate: 7.3 grams Plaster: 4.2 grams
These artifacts included extensive deposits of bone and charcoal which, along with the shellfish remains, are evidence that the fill resulted from cooking and processing shellfish. The fairly high occurrence of nails and brick indicates that this feature was filled at a time when construction was probably occurring at the site. The presence of redware, delft and the pins and buttons indicates that the filling of the feature continued after the construction was completed and domestic activities such as cooking and sewing had begun. The clay tobacco pipes allow the feature to be dated fairly accurately.
One complete bowl of a pipe style which is attributed to the period of 1660-1680 was recovered along with two stems from this same type (type 2). One very interesting stem of a type called a Sir Walter Raleigh pipe was recovered (Type 10). One fragment of a redware pipe bowl was also recovered. This bowl mimics the shape of the large belly bowl (type 2) and probably dates to the same period 1670-1680.
The following stem fragments were recovered from the EU as well, 8/ 64"- 3 7/64"- 2 and while the use of stem bores has come under attack due to the fact that they are not absolute dates, the presence of these places the creation of the feature after approximately 1650, the median date for the occurrence of these two sizes.
The clay pipe fragments, taken as a whole indicate that this feature was created and filled between approximately 1670 and 1680. All of the other artifacts within the feature likewise should date to the same period. The fact that evidence of construction is present indicates that this feature was created during the actual building of some structure at the site. It is the excavators opinion that it dates to the construction of the main house at the site circa 1675. This date ties in well with the artifacts from this feature. The actual identification of the feature could not be made at the time of the excavation of EU 5 and did not become more apparent until adjacent units 12 and 13 were excavated.
The artifacts from the upper layers of the unit above the feature were as follows:
Brick: 1627.2 grams Shell: 50.9 grams Bone: 38.5 grams
Metal: 1 frag Nails: 32 frags Redware: 150 frags
Flint: 4 frags Flat Glass: 7 frags Bottle Glass: 1 frag
Clay Pipes: 5 frags Charcoal: 5 grams
Excavation Unit 6
Excavation Unit 6 was placed on top of test pit K-07. This test pit revealed the remains of a medium sized mammal buried approximately 35 cm below surface. The EU was placed so that this test pit would be in its center. The sheep burial was labeled feature 9. It is not known what this animal died from, but it was buried in an irregularly shaped pit approximately 60cm by 50 cm. The size of the pit appeared to have been just enough in which to cram the sheep. This may have been done in order to quickly bury it for fear of infection. The sheeps body was oriented to the east to west while its neck was bent so that it faced to the north. This indicates that the sheep was probably was dropped into the pit back first with its head hitting last.
The feature is believed to have become apparent by the 20-25cm level. All of the artifacts from this level and below are considered to be from the feature. The artifacts were as follows:
Brick: 531 grams Shell: 40 grams Charcoal: 33.4 grams
Redware: 25 frags Clay pipe: 13 frags Bone: 35.4 grams
Nails: 31 frags Flat Glass: 16 frags Slipware: 2 frags
Brass Button: 1
The presence of so many brick fragments, charcoal and nails indicates that this feature probably post dates the occupation of the structure. These artifacts may have found their way into pit as it was being dug only if they were already on the ground. This feature probably relates to the use of the land after the structure burned or was moved and the cellar filled in. It is likely that the land was then used for pasture. The sheep in the burial was probably found dead one day and a pit was dug close to where it fell and it was buried. The slipware indicates that the feature dates to sometime after 1675 when this English ware became common on American sites.
The clay pipes which were recovered from the feature took the form of 2 7/64" pipe stems, 5 5/64" stems and one large belly bowl fragment with (R) T on the side facing the smoker. The maker of these type of pipes was Robert Tippett of Bristol England. He was producing this style of pipe from 1680-1710.
One other feature, feature 11 was noted in the southeast corner of the unit but it was determined that this was probably natural feature such as a woodchuck or tree hole.
The artifacts from the upper layers from this unit were :
Brick: 268.4 grams Shell: 6.4 grams Charcoal: 5.1 grams
Redware: 37 frags Clay pipe: 10 frags Bone: 30.1 grams
Nails: 24 frags Metal: 2 Flat Glass: 13 frags
Bottle Glass: 4 frags Lead: 1 frag Slipware: 3 frags
Delft: 2 frags White salt-glazed stoneware: 1 frag Horseshoe: 1
Coal: 1.6 grams
Excavation Unit 7
The unit was placed on the east side of the museum approximately one meter away from the east wall to investigate the soils in this area. Seeing how artifact rich the south yard was, the question was raised concerning the east yard. This unit determined that this area of the site contains very low concentrations of artifacts. At the present time it is not known why but it probably has to do with the location of fields, gardens, animal pens and work areas around the house.
This unit was also placed here to investigate the possibility that this was where Harry Hornblower excavated in 1939. His field drawing (Figure 23) shows a paved area with a number of possible features adjacent to it. The orientation of the paving closely matched the area to the east of the house. It was suspected that the "paving" was in fact the east end of the house. As these possible post holes may have proven to be evidence of the trading house, it was felt that it was important that excavations be conducted here. Unfortunately, no features and few artifacts were found. The area Hornblower excavated is now believed that Hornblower excavated around the stone paving originally excavated by Lombard approximately 100 feet to the west of the structure. The original use of this feature will be discussed more below.
This unit was also excavated far below the level at which excavation customarily ends. This was done to determine if there were any buried soil layers which the standard excavation may have missed. Excavation of a unit without features usually ends when no more artifacts are recovered and the excavation has reached the sterile B1 layer. This usually occurs at approximately 30 to 50 cm below the ground surface. This soil is distinguishable from the artifact bearing occupation layers by it color (yellow red at this site) and its texture (silty sand). In this unit this layer was encountered at approximately 30cm below ground surface but the excavation of one quarter of the unit continued to 107 cm. No other artifacts were recovered and the soil looked very natural.
The artifacts which were recovered from the cultural layers were as follows:
Brick: 36.5 grams Shell: 44.1 grams Bone: .3 grams
Charcoal: 2.5 grams Redware: 19 frags Clay Pipes: 4 frags
Porcelain: 1 frag Mortar: 1.2 grams Flat Glass: 6 frags
Coal: 6.7 grams Metal: 4 frag Nails: 6 frags
Excavation Unit 8
This unit was placed adjacent to test pit G-07 in which the edge of what appeared to be a posthole was encountered. EU 8 encountered the same posthole at 20cm in the southwest quadrant of the unit with the post still within it. It was determined due to the artifacts which were present that this feature post dated Lombards excavations. This was due to the fact that it contained much of the same material and some fragments which cross-mended with artifacts recovered by Lombard from the cellars. This post was probably part of a fenceline on the south side of the museum.
The artifacts recovered from feature 10, the posthole, were as follows:
Brick: 341.8 grams Shell: 100.6 grams Bone: 13.7 grams
Charcoal/ Wood: 2055.6 grams Flat Glass: 9 frag Nails: 13 frags
Redware: 18 frags Delft: 1 frag Clay Pipes: 10 frags
Mortar: 40.9 grams Metal: 2 frags
The artifacts from the rest of the unit were as follows:
Brick: 859 grams Shell: 400 grams Bone: 177.7 grams
Charcoal: 14.1 grams Flat Glass: 35 frag Nails: 135 frags
Redware: 72 frags Delft: 8 frags Clay Pipes: 63 frags
Mortar: 1971.1 grams Metal: 1 frags Bottle Glass: 2 frags
Brass scrap: 1 frag Lead Kame: 3 frags Burned Nut/ Seed: 2 frag
Flint: 3 frag Cigarette Butt: 1 frag Pewter Button: 1
Cement: 4.2 grams
Excavation Unit 9
This unit was placed to investigate a deep ash and artifacts deposit located in test pit J-10. This unit is located to the northwest of the museum and is inline with units 5, 13 and 16. The feature, feature 11, was encountered at 55 centimeters below ground surface and extended to 145 cm below surface. It was the deepest feature encountered. There may have been some episode of soil displacement to this area in the recent past. This would account for the depth at which this feature was encountered and for the large number of modern nails encountered. It was hypothesized that this feature was a northern extension of the trench which was found in units 1, 4 and 5. The fill of this feature, unlike the others, was chiefly ash, fish bone and shell.
The artifacts from this feature were as follows:
Brick: 90.2 grams Shell: 9076.9 grams Bone: 1946.1 grams
Charcoal: 379.1 grams Flat Glass: 39 frag Nails: 113 frags
Redware: 32 frags Delft: 5 frag Clay Pipes: 47 frags
Plaster: 670.1 grams Metal: 22 frags Bottle Glass: 14 frags
Egg Shell: 2.4 grams Flint: 4 frags Metal Hinge: 1
Brass Scrap: 1 Carved Calcined Bone: 1 Nut shells: 3
The clay pipes can help to date this feature as they have done with the others. From the feature, 47 pipe fragments were recovered. The sizes were distributed as follows:
8/64" 5 7/64" 19 6/64" 2 5/64" 1
these pipes yielded a mean date of 1662.6. As can be seen, the majority of the pipes were of the 7/64" bore size. These date to approximately 1650-1680. One type one pipe bowl was recovered, circa 1680-1710, and one redware bowl fragment was recovered, circa 1670-1700.
The ceramics help to date the feature and also to show the contemporaneous nature of this feature with the one located in EU 5. One fragment from vessel one, a redware drinking pot, was recovered from 105 cm below the ground surface in EU 9. One fragment from vessel 63, a redware chamber pot, was recovered from EU 9 Other fragments of this vessel were recovered from EU 4 and EU11, both contained remnants of this trench. Fragments of a tin-glazed cup or mug bearing a stippled manganese design on the exterior were also recovered.
The artifacts from the upper levels of this unit were as follows:
Brick: 353.2 grams Shell: 376.9 grams Bone: 56.6 grams
Charcoal: 43.4 grams Flat Glass: 2 frag Nails: 48 frags
Redware: 10 frags Gray Stoneware: 1 frag Clay Pipes: 4 frags
Mortar: 17.7 grams Metal: 4 frags Peach pit: 1
Coal: .8 grams
Excavation Unit 10
Excavation unit 10 was placed in the south yard between units 3 and 4 to determine if the soils between the two units was similar and to determine if the feature encountered in EU 4 continued to the east. The soils in this unit were very similar to those from units 3. The only feature noticed in the field, feature 13, was determined to be part of the trench which by this point was believed to extend from EU 1 to EU 4 and possibly connect with EU 5 and extend to EU 9. This feature was most apparent in the north and west walls of the unit. This feature first became evident at 35cm below surface and continued to 70 cm below surface. The artifact concentration was not as high as in the other units of this trench.
Feature 13 contained the following material:
Brick: 1.3 grams Shell: 125.5 grams Bone: 52.1 grams
Charcoal: 4 grams Flat Glass: 3 frag Nails: 4 frags
Redware: 27 frags Clay Pipes: 2 frags Flint: 1 frag
Window lead: 1 frag
The artifacts from the rest of this unit were as follows:
Brick: 1259.8 grams Shell: 437.7 grams Bone: 435.8 grams
Charcoal: 12.5 grams Flat Glass: 11 frag Nails: 148 frags
Redware: 249 frags Clay Pipes: 38 frags Flint: 7 frag
Window lead: 2 frag Metal: 9 frags Bottle Glass: 1 frag
Bras Scrap: 1 frag Delft; 1 frag Redware Pipe: 1 frag
Modern material: 14 frags Brass Pin: 1 frag Mortar: 154.8 grams
Glass Bead: 1 Creamware: 1 frag Slipware: 1 frag
Cement: 32.9 grams
Excavation Unit 11
At the time of the placement of this unit, it was becoming apparent that there was some type of trench feature which extended on the south and west sides of the structure. In order to determine if the feature encountered in EU 1 was part of this trench, EU 11 was placed adjacent to the southwest corner of EU 1. A portion of the trench feature was encountered in this unit and was found to run in line which when followed out would intersect the portion of the trench encountered in EU 4 and 10. This portion of the trench was encountered at 40cm below surface. It continued to a depth of 85 cm below surface. This portion of the trench contained less artifactual material than other sections, although it was rich in shell and bone. It did contain an appreciable amount of nails, brick fragments, mortar and flat window glass and this again hints at the trench having been excavated at the time of the construction of the structure.
Brick: 86.3 grams Shell: 3226.3 grams Bone: 1235.1 grams
Charcoal: 43.7 grams Flat Glass: 27 frag Nails: 28 frags
Redware: 91 frags Clay Pipes: 15 frags Flint: 1 frag
Window lead: 1 frag Metal: 13 frags Delft: 4 frag
Brass Pin: 1 frag Mortar: 32.7 grams Glass Bead: 1
The clay pipes which were recovered help to date its construction. three 7/64" pipes stems and two 6/64" stems indicate that this feature was created during the latter part of the seventeenth century. The bulk of the pipe fragments did not prove useful for dating due to the fact they bore no datable features. Fragments of delft recovered from this feature appear to be from the same manganese stippled vessel represented in EU 9 and thus indicates a contemporaneous filling of the two trench sections.
The artifacts from the rest of the unit were as follows:
Brick: 682.7 grams Shell: 1383.9 grams Bone: 155.2 grams
Charcoal: 2.9 grams Flat Glass: 6 frag Nails: 70 frags
Redware: 18 frags Clay Pipes: 15 frags Stoneware: 1 frag
Slate: 3.8 grams Metal: 9 frags Delft: 2 frag
Mortar: 12.9 grams
Excavation Unit 12
This unit was placed adjacent to the west side of EU 5 with the hope that the western edge of the trench would be encountered. Unfortunately, the trench proved wider than the two meter squares. One other feature was encountered in this unit in addition to the trench feature. this was a concentration of stones in the southeastern quadrant of this unit. These stone appear to have been dumped here at the same time, but there does not appear to be any pattern to them.
The trench was first encountered in this unit at 40 cm below surface and continued to 105 cm. It is not known how much farther to the west the trench may extend, but it is assumed that the western edge would be encountered within a short distance of the edge of this unit.
The artifacts recovered from this section of the trench were as follows:
Brick: 1546.6 grams Shell: 428.1 grams Bone: 2186.6 grams
Charcoal: 547.4 grams Flat Glass: 3 frag Nails: 67 frags
Redware: 108 frags Clay Pipes: 10 frags Button: 1
Metal: 19 frags Delft: 1 frag Flint: 2 frag
Mortar: .7 grams Slate: 2 grams Bottle glass: 2 frags
Flat Glass: 14 frags
The clay pipes indicate that this section was filled at the same time as the other sections. One 8/64" stem and 3 7/64" stems were recovered. One stem was from a pipe bowl of the type 3 variety (see pipes below) which dates from circa 1660-1680. this stem/ bowl juncture fragment bore evidence that the stem itself had been reduced in size over its life and the end of the stem actually bore wear from being clutched in the teeth by its user. This fragment was found at 80cm below surface. This indicates that the feature cannot be older than this pipe since it was found so near the bottom.
Two other artifacts help to date this feature as well. they were ½ of a wine bottle recovered at 55cm below the surface and a fragment of a clear glass goblet recovered from 50cm below surface. The wine bottle is of a style which Hume has dated as occurring between 1670 and 1680 (Hume 1969: 62) and the goblet is of a style which occurred circa 1675 (Bickerton 1984: 3).
The artifacts which occurred in the remainder of the unit were as follows:
Brick: 1409.8 grams Shell: 14.8 grams Bone: 5.6 grams
Charcoal: 12.4 grams Flat Glass: 14 frag Nails: 54 frags
Redware: 86 frags Clay Pipes: 8 frags Redware Pipe: 1 frag
Metal Link: 1 Metal: 17 frags Delft: 6 frag
Lead Kame : 1 Slate: 2 grams Bottle glass: 3 frags
Flat Glass: 3 frags Apple stem: 1 Flint: 6 frag
Excavation Unit 13
This unit was placed to the north of EU 5 in order to possibly determine the northern extent of this deposit within the trench. This section of the trench was first encountered at 40cm below surface and continued until 100cm below surface. At the bottom of this section of the trench, a deposit of ash and charcoal was recovered. The very bottom of the feature contained soil of a yellowish brown color which appeared to have washed back in after the trench had been initially excavated. the shell deposit was found to extend for 80cm to the north of EU 5s north wall. The soils to the north of this shell deposit appeared to have been shoveled back in to some extent before the shells were thrown in.
The artifacts which were recovered from this section of the trench were as follows:
Brick: 50.8 grams Shell: 41229.8 grams Bone: 1163 grams
Charcoal: 132.9 grams Flat Glass: 6 frag Nails: 57 frags
Redware: 153 frags Clay Pipes: 14 frags Flint: 6 frag
Lead Kame: 2 frags Metal: 31 frags Delft: 7 frag
Mortar: 48.1 grams Slate: 149.4 grams Bottle glass: 9 frags
Ceramic?: 1frag Redware Pipe: 1 frag
The clay pipes from the site indicate that this section of the trench had been filled in at the same time as the others. Five 8/64" stems and 4 7/64" stems indicate a late seventeenth century filling of this section of the trench as well. One of the 8/64" stems was of the type 5 which dated to circa 1680-1710. Another was a compete bowl exactly the same as the one recovered from EU 5 of the Type 2 variety which dates from 1660-1680. Another stem bowl juncture fragment bears a molded design on the heel. This appears to be a portion of a Huntress and Crusader type (1680-1710). The design most closely parallels the design found on a pipe bowl from the Fort Pentagoet site in Maine, which was identified as Huntress and Crusader. The complete bowl of this type bear the image of a woman bearing a bow on one side of the bowl and a man in knight garb on the other. The redware pipe fragment dates from 1660-1675.
The artifacts from the rest of the unit were as follows:
Brick: 263.8 grams Shell: 33.8 grams Bone: 13.1 grams
Charcoal: 19 grams Flat Glass: 8 frag Nails: 35 frags
Redware: 96 frags Clay Pipes: 11 frags Stoneware: 1 frag
Modern material: 1 frag Metal: 8 frags Delft: 1 frag
Mortar: 28.2 grams Slipware: 1 frag Bottle glass: 2 frags
Excavation Unit 15
This unit was placed to the north of the eastern extension of the structure. It was placed with the goal of providing information on the use of the north yard versus the south. The soils here were similar to those from the south yard although the artifact density was much lower. One probably recent feature was discovered at 30cm below surface. This feature consisted of only a semi-circle of fire cracked rock and one brick. It probably dates to after the abandonment of the site. One other feature was also noted in the southwest quadrant. this feature consisted of an area of disturbed soil extending from 40cm to 75cm and being roughly semi-circular. This feature continued into the south and west walls. Few artifacts were found within it. These are as follows:
Brick: 125.6 grams Shell: 12.8 grams Bone: 4.9 grams
Charcoal: 7.4 grams Flat Glass: 3 frag Nails: 23 frags
Redware: 3 frags Clay Pipes: 1 frags Flint: 1 frag
Metal: 1 frags
This feature may represent part of a trench or test pit excavated by Lombard on October 27, 1926. This trench was excavated to uncover any evidence of the eastern portion of the structure being larger than it appeared. Lombard recorded that nothing of interest was recovered..
Brick: 2488.5 grams Shell: 4 grams Bone: .4 grams
Charcoal: 1.3 grams Flat Glass: 9 frag Nails: 29 frags
Redware: 17 frags Clay Pipes: 2 frags Flint: 1 frag
Burned Corn: 1 Metal: 4 frags Delft: 3 frag
Brass Button: 1 Hoe: 1
One artifact recovered from this unit was a metal hoe with a badly damaged blade recovered from 30cm below the surface.
Excavation Unit 16
This was the last unit excavated at the site. This unit was place five meters to the north of EU 13 with the hopes that it would reveal the filling of the trench at this point. The unit measured 50cm wide and 2 meters long and it was hoped that it would hit both edges of the trench. Unfortunately it did not. The feature was encountered at 50cm below the surface 35 cm west of the eastern wall of the unit. It continued into the western wall. The feature disappeared at 95cm below the surface. The fill within this section of the trench appeared different than the other sections. There was none of the dense shell present in this unit and the soil appears to have been shoveled back into the trench soon after it was excavated. The lack of shell and dense remains in this section may have to do with its location in relation to the structure. It was located to the immediate west of the western wall of the structure. This area would not have been as convenient a place to dispose of trash if one was exiting the house from the north or south doors.
The artifacts which were recovered were as follows:
Brick: 44.5 grams Bone: 1.9 grams Nails: 53 frags
Charcoal: 4 grams Flat Glass: 11 frag Redware: 37 frags
Clay Pipes: 4 frags Redware Pipe: 1 frag Delft: 1 frag
Slate: 3.8 grams
The clay pipes indicate that this section of the trench was filled at the same time as the others. 2 6/64" pipe stems and two 7/64" stems were recovered. One of the 6/64" stems bore a zig-zag and oval stamping around its circumference. this has been identified as a mark of pipe makers from Bristol England and dates from 1650-1750. One redware pipe stem was also recovered (1660-1675).
The artifacts which were recovered from the remainder of the unit were as follows:
Brick: 443.7 grams Shell: .8 grams Mortar: 1.4 grams
Charcoal: 4.4 grams Flat Glass: 9 frag Nails: 61 frags
Redware: 5 frags Clay Pipes: 4 frags Delft: 1 frag
Metal: 1 frag Coal: 20 grams Tin: 63.9 grams
Cement: 213.9 grams Slipware: 1 frag
Fea. Number Test Pit Depth Interpretation Associated EU
1 D-6 0-50cm 20th century cable
2 E-2 43-50cm Post hole
3 E-2 43-50cm Tap root
4 E-2 43-50cm Tap root
5 F-7 40-85cm Post hole, pit 1, 11
6 F-9 26-36cm recent pit
7 G-1 50-76cm Post hole
8 G-7 40-67cm Depression 4, 10
9 G-8 10-40cm Rock concentration 4, 10
10 G-9 30-35cm Post molds?
11 H-4 Post holes
12 H-6 Trench
14 I-7 Builder's Trench
15 J-7 Trench 5, 12, 13
16 J-8 Trench
17 J-9 Trench 9
18 K-6 72cm Burned area
19 K-7 Sheep burial 6
20 K-13 Native pit
21 L-1 28-38cm Rock concentration
22 L-5 Depression
A total of seventeen features were identified during the excavation unit testing at the site. In the end it was found that most of these features were all part of a larger feature. This feature was the trench which appears to have extended from EU 1 through EU 11, EU 4, and EU 10. Then at some point to the south of EU 5 the trench turned north and was encountered in EUs 5, 12, 13, 16 and 9. The orientation of the trench can be seen in Figure 24. This trench was dug in the 1670s before or during the construction of the structure at the site. It remained open long enough for some of the excavated soil to be washed back in. Some sections, probably those which were most convenient, were soon filled in with domestic debris while others were back-filled with the soil which was removed. The trenches original dimensions were at least two meters wide, the depth ranged from 35-90cm and it is estimated to have been at least 40 meters long on the south side and 40 meters long on the west side (Figure 24).
The original purpose of this feature is not known but it is strongly suspected that it represents the remains of an unfinished palisade and ditch defense system. A narrow trench would have been dug in which to set a palisade made of split or whole logs. On the outside of the palisade a trench would have been excavated and the earth from this trench would have been thrown up against the palisade to reinforce it and make it more difficult to scale. It appears though that if this was the original intention of this trench, then the job was never completed.
It does make sense though that a homesite such as this would have been fortified in some way. The location of the site is fairly far away from the main town of Sandwich and the inhabitants of the Monument area would have wanted some type of garrison house in which to retreat in time of attack. The dating of the site also favors the scenario that the original intention was to palisade the house. The artifacts from the trench and the those from the site in general, indicate that this site was first occupied in the 1670s. This is the same time that there were many problems between the Wampanoags from western Plymouth Colony and the English. The inhabitants at the site, perhaps fearing that the Natives on Cape Cod would become part of the war, may have wanted to fortify their house for their and their neighbors protection.
When the site was initially investigated in 1852, Russell noted that while no history survived relating to the location of the trading house, the site on which they excavated did have a history. Concerning the site they were to excavate on, he stated that "it having been generally a matter of conjecture only that some kind of defense was erected there against the Indians, though previous to the year 1685."(Russell 1855:149). The town history also indicates that there may have been a "blockhouse" built in the town for "mutual defense". Keene stated that "In the early days of Monument settlement, all the families used to spend their nights in the blockhouse in seasons of greatest dangers" (Keene 1975:57). The location of this "blockhouse" was said to have been near the old Monument Bridge. This would have been generally near the Bourne Public Library. It was also stated that there was a large rock 15 rods to the southwest of the blockhouse which "the early settlers, when returning from a trip, used to shelter themselves while shooting into the house to drive out the Indians." (Keene 1975:58).
While the truth to this story can not be verified, it would not have been uncommon for people living in an isolated community to have one house garrisoned during the 1670s. Perhaps, this site represented the garrison house of Manomet. Or perhaps the inhabitants at this site began to garrison the house, but the war ended before the work had gotten too far and the trench and palisade were not complete. This would explain why the structure itself is so close to the trench and why the trench contains so much construction debris. It may have been dug first before the structure was begun and then the work on the trench stopped and construction of the house was begun and finished.
Other explanations of this feature which have been presented are that it represented a property boundary trench such as those used in Virginia. The problem with this theory is that there was no one else in the area whose property this land would be divided from. The distribution of artifacts from the site also shows that this trench never was a boundary which stopped trash from being spread to the west. Others have suggested that the feature was used as a borrow pit to mine for clay or soil to build up the land before construction. There is no clay in the soils where the trench lies and if it was a borrow pit for soil, then why dig a continuous trench and not just a large pit? The explanation which seems to fit the information available at the present time is that this feature appears to be part of a personal homesite defense. Future excavations should focus on following the trench to its southwest and northwest corners and determining its width.
One of the features which was tested by Lombard was an area of stone paving which he stated was located about 100 feet to the east of the main structure. If Lombards orientation and measurement is accurate, this would place this stone paving approximately where the Gray Gables Train Station sits today. Lombard stated that he tested this area and found charcoal, metal and oyster shells. As this feature seemed so enigmatic, we had hoped to relocate it during our 1995 testing. When test pits were dug in the area of the train station, no concentrations of artifacts or stones were found. In fact this area seemed to have one of the lowest concentrations of material on the site. Soon afterwards, notes and a drawing were found at Plimoth Plantation which stated that the Plantations creator, Henry Hornblower, had also excavated at Aptucxet.
Hornblower was an avocational archaeologist who did much to start archaeological investigations in the former Plymouth Colony territory. His notes state that he excavated at the site on July 19, 1941. Hornblower visited the site on this date with a Mr. Channing Howard, and Mr. Welch. Hornblower excavated a small area to the northwest of the museum. He stated that a rock slab floor and a "structure called a well by Mr. Howard" were visible (Hornblower 1941:1). It appears that Hornblower was testing the same area which Lombard had described. But while Lombard located this feature to the east of the site, Hornblower located it to the northwest. The slab floor appears to be the same one identified by Lombard and the well appears to have been a concentration of stones and not a true well.
Hornblower excavated a total area of 316 x 90 centimeters in the area of the slab floor and an area of 125 x 140 centimeters in the area of the "well". The slab area was excavated to 9 cm and the well, which was found to be rocks with no arrangement was taken down to 20-30 cm. A one meter wide trench was then excavated to connect the two areas. The trench was excavated to a depth of 20 cm where lenses of clay, charcoal and sterile subsoil was encountered . This trench was parallel to the slab floor. Another trench was excavated north from the slabs. Hornblower stated that a "china" fragment was recovered bearing a leaf design. One glass bottle bottom was also recovered near the rock pile at 30cm below the surface.
The excavation revealed a clay floor to the north of the stone slabs about three inches thick and 30 cm below the surface. This floor covered the southern half of the area between the slab floor and the rock pile. Near the rock pile, Hornblower stated that he found a "fire pocket" in the northeast corner of the area dug. The area which Hornblower dug and the plan which he drew are illustrated below.
It was hoped that the area where Lombard and Hornblower dug would have been identified in the field. Unfortunately this was not accomplished. One EU was excavated on the east side of the museum on the remote possibility that this was where Hornblower had excavated. After the artifacts had been cataloged, the location of Lombards and Hornblowers excavations was theorized to possibly be between test pits K-5 to K-7 and N-7 to N-9. This conclusion was reached by plotting the recovery of three artifact classes from these test units. These classes were nails, charcoal and brick. As can be seen in Figure 25, the area between these units and the area around unit N-5 yielded the highest concentrations. The first area seems to be the more likely one. It lies to the northwest of the structure and is approximately 100 feet from the structure.
The question remains, what is this feature. It is felt that the most likely answer is that these are the remains of Ezra Perry IIs blacksmith shop. This possibility is presented for four reasons. The first is the abundance of charcoal, brick and nails in this area. Seeing that this area is located a fair distance from the structure itself, these materials probably did not get here as a result of Lombards excavations. This indicates that there is a probable chance that there was once a structure in this area.
Secondly, Ezra Perry IIs will and probate indicate that he did have a blacksmith shop on his property when he died. Ezra stated in his will that he gave to his grand children Samual, Muscom and Edmond "my new shop with liberty to remove it on their own land if they see cause" (BCPR 4/ 516). He also had a number of blacksmith tools listed in his probate (see Appendix 8).
Third, the fact that he appears to have been engaged in smithing and metal working is substantiated by artifacts which Lombard recovered from the cellarholes. The numerous spoons which he found which had been bent for pouring molted metal such as lead or pewter and the unfinished cast buckle indicate that the occupant of this site was working metal to a degree.
Finally, the stone paving which Lombard discovered and Hornblower subsequently excavated matches paving found at other blacksmith sites. This paved area would have been on the exterior of the shop and was used for shoeing horses and oxen (Disviscour 1990:291). Commonly shops were made of dry laid stone foundations with a wooden superstructure on top. Within the shop would have been located a forge, anvil and block, and a vice fastened to a bench (Disviscour 1990:292). The forge itself could have been dry laid or mortared but generally it was a rectangular shape (Disviscour 1990: 292).
Few blacksmith shops have been excavated in the northeast but from those that have it has been found that they can be fairly substantial or fairly ephemeral affairs. This would have happened on the amount of energy which was wished to be expended on it. The ones which have been excavated are as follows:
Whittemore, Concord Massachusetts 1779-1820 3m x 5m
Fort Pentagoet, Maine 1635-1654 9.2m x 6m
Fort St. George, Ontario 1796-1712 5.1m x 6m
Phoenixville, Connecticut 1822-1835 4.9m x 6m
Barre, Massachusetts 1824-1855 7.9m x 6m
At the Barre site a cobbled pavement area was located adjacent to the forge and measured 2m x 2m (Disviscour 1990:294). Postholes were also found near the location of the forge which were interpreted as the base of the bellows. The cobble area at the Whitemore site measured 6m x 6m. At the ATPM site the paved area which Lombard found measured at least 2m long by 1m wide. Unfortunately neither Lombard nor Hornblower measured the feature exactly.
The other features which Hornblower found during his excavation fit with the interpretation of the feature as a smiths shop. The "pits" he noted on his plan of his excavations may be associated with the structure itself, if it was constructed using the less permanent post-in-ground technique, or they may relate to the forge and bellows within the shop. The concentration of stones to the north of the pavement may be interpreted as the remains of the firebox for the hearth with a posthole from the bellows present.
Unfortunately there was not enough of the area excavated by either man to truly let us make an absolute judgment. If this is in fact the remains of a blacksmith shop, then the identification and location of it would provide us with the only one ever recovered from southern Massachusetts and Cape Cod.