Lot 12, Test Cut F, Landfill: Gray and Tan Sand with Shell Below Wood Stain #4 and Next to Rocks (624.171)

This context (Catalog #171: Lot 12, Test Cut F, Stratum 18, Level a) consists of artifacts found in a gray and tan sand with shell below a wood stain (#4) and adjacent to rocks. This context is one of many landfill deposits excavated from Test Cut F in the rear portion of Lot 12. Test Cut F was placed on the site according to the sampling plan for testing the landfill deposits.

The landfill deposits began at approximately 27 to 28 inches below the ground surface of Test Cut F and represent 17th-century landfill. These deposits consist of numerous strata and lenses of various soil types. Between a depth of 54 to 68 inches, the excavators encountered a series of four wood stains that covered most of the square with traces of additional wood stains in the south profile. Below the last of the four wood stains, a number of large rocks were encountered in the east part of the square between 68 and 73 inches below the ground surface. These rocks were included in a stratum of gray and tan sand with shell which was excavated as stratum 18. The profiles show a thin line of dark silt beneath the rocks which may represent another wood stain. Stratum 18 had the highest artifact density of any of the strata in Test Cut F. Additional levels of landfill were excavated beneath these strata to a depth of 81 inches below ground surface with river bottom deposits found beneath the landfill deposits.

The stones in the eastern part of the square extended approximately 18 inches into the square from the east wall and were only one course thick. Although the stones gave the appearance of being purposefully laid, there is no stratigraphic indication that they were part of the base of a wall which was later removed. It is possible that the stones were deposited during the filling process. Similar cases of early stone walls were excavated in other parts of the site, notably in Lot 14, and it is possible that the stones represent an early attempt to construct foundation walls or temporary landfill retaining walls, which were abandoned before the landfilling process was completed.

For more information about the deposits associated with Lot 12, please read pages 155 to 191 of the 7 Hanover Square site report.

  • Collection method

    Excavated this context using trowels. All soil was wet-screened using 1/4 inch mesh.

  • Soil description

    Brown sandy silt

  • Munsell

    Not recorded

7 Hanover Square

Manhattan, 7 Hanover Square

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