Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Digging (on private property)

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Digging (on private property)

    How far down would generally dig to start finding artifacts in an area where some are being found on the surface

  • #2
    So many types of geography/soils/bedrock etc..... BUT! lol I think anywhere you try to dig to find artifacts, even if some on the surface, you should do test pits to see how deep you can dig and what you can find. Certainly in FL you have to dig to the hardpan, hard bottom soil that there are no artifacts beneath often because they can't pass through this harder layer easily. In rocky sites it's a LOT harder than soil or sand but still if the site has been occupied for several thousand years you have to dig down to where there are no more artifacts and identify what layer(s) have the schtuff so you can concentrate on that. You don't want to miss the older stuff when there is more recent stuff on the surface. If you are lucky then all your finds will be close to the surface due to hardpan/bedrock/non-penetrable layers that are also close to the surface or erosion laid 'em bare. Hope this helps
    Professor Shellman

    Comment


    • #3
      I think you said you are in Tennessee. it really depends on the soil were you are. Is it clay? I guess two feet would be a good target but that can change dramatically at the base of a hill. or in a flood plain. Back in CT we had rich dark almost black Humus on top about 4 inches, then a nice brown color from 4 "to about10 inches down under that it was reddish. The hard pan up there was at about 24 inches. give or take a few inches. That was in Connecticut mind you and it is probably different in TN because of the clay in the soil here. If you have less trees then the soils do not build like they do in forested areas. A professional Archaeologist once told me a good rule of thumb is 1 inch equals 400 years. Is it the same in a rock midden in Texas. ?? Nope? Like I said probably differs where you are too. A lot can change soil.Insect mounds and animal burrows can change things, Being in a flood plain can change things, being at the base of a hill can also. as it is a place where leaf mold can sit a compost and build up faster than surrounding areas. Flood plains can be stripped of the top soil or it could have a ton of silt sitting on top of it. So the question is a difficult one to answer.
      TN formerly CT Visit our store http://stores.arrowheads.com/store.p...m-Trading-Post

      Comment


      • #4
        I’ve seen artifacts 15 feet deep in a location on Crowley’s ridge, and at another in southern New Mexico they were deeper than that....but typically a foot or two...

        Comment


        • #5
          I have personally dug 6 to 7 feet .... but as said above it can all depend on the tarain .....
          As for me and house , we will serve the lord

          Comment


          • #6
            You guys have more gumption than I do, but I would dig if I thought I would have success.
            Gary

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hoss View Post
              I think you said you are in Tennessee. it really depends on the soil were you are. Is it clay? I guess two feet would be a good target but that can change dramatically at the base of a hill. or in a flood plain. Back in CT we had rich dark almost black Humus on top about 4 inches, then a nice brown color from 4 "to about10 inches down under that it was reddish. The hard pan up there was at about 24 inches. give or take a few inches. That was in Connecticut mind you and it is probably different in TN because of the clay in the soil here. If you have less trees then the soils do not build like they do in forested areas. A professional Archaeologist once told me a good rule of thumb is 1 inch equals 400 years. Is it the same in a rock midden in Texas. ?? Nope? Like I said probably differs where you are too. A lot can change soil.Insect mounds and animal burrows can change things, Being in a flood plain can change things, being at the base of a hill can also. as it is a place where leaf mold can sit a compost and build up faster than surrounding areas. Flood plains can be stripped of the top soil or it could have a ton of silt sitting on top of it. So the question is a difficult one to answer.
              My place is on top of a long wooded ridge well above flood zone. It’s a mix of clay and sandy kind of dirt. Of course all the roots suck also. Ive been finding some on top of the ground on the 4 wheeler trail with lots of chips and chunks of flint. May or may not mean anything but the largest spring below us is also named “Indian Camp Branch” trying to make a plan guys thanks for the help

              Comment


              • #8
                Just to show you how unusual some places are, and maybe provide an understanding of what might still be out there...
                theres a site in Eastern Arkansas called "Big Eddy Hill". Clarence Moore mentioned passing it by because it had been "dug out"and there were likely no artifacts left. The site is a few hundred yards from the banks of the St. Francis river, and a couple hundred or more feet in elevation above it. The land to the east of the river is flat farm land, and starting on its western bank, it rises abruptly to Crowley s Ridge. It was discovered when the county paid a man to cut a road to the top of the ridge from the low ground using a dozer. In places the road is cut through the hills, leaving high steep banks on either side. To this day you can drive through and see all types of pottery, bone, and God only knows what else sticking out of the embankments.

                I know one of the old pot diggers from way back, he's an elderly man now, unable to get around much, but I spend as much time with him as I can because he tells good stories, and he has a head full of knowledge. He told me many tales of digging artifacts in the 60's.

                my point I guess is that this one never would have been found had they not cut a road through there, and they found thousands of artifacts after Moore declared it empty.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the information Jethro355 I’m gonna give it a shot and see what happens. Y’all will know if I find anything cuz it’ll be posted on here

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As you dig you will see the soil is stratafied. Do some test pits and screen the soil. You will know when you hit hard pan. It is yellowish, sand , clay and gravel mixed in it. Do not bother digging past it. In places close to the Mississippi river it is 100 feet thick . It will lack broken flint. Good luck. Get a good pair of lopping shears long handled to help clear roots away. If you try chopping roots with the shovel you can cut through but the shovel thrust might break artifacts below the roots system. Be carful and have fun.
                    TN formerly CT Visit our store http://stores.arrowheads.com/store.p...m-Trading-Post

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't dig but I know from hunting banks that some early archaic to paleo sites are as far as 18 to 20 feet down from the surface where as woodland and more rescent artifacts can be literally on the surface. In some areas archaic and woodland stratified zones are less than a foot apart. I hunt one area where habitation zones are as far 15 feet apart with a huge dead zone between them and less than a quarter mile away the zones are very close to each other, less than three feet from early archaic to historic. Why that is I don't know but it goes to show there is no set rule on depth. I hunted some sites and surface find late archaic pieces that are undisturbed on the surface after big rains and the leaves get pushed around.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We dug about 18 in for an electrical wire and found a large turtle back scraper . Can’t wait to do the septic now !
                        But like the guys above said it’s the soil. Ours is sandy .
                        TOM HIT ON SOMTHING . I did read in a book if it a good area then it could have been occupied for centuries beyond what you start finding . I would have to look the archeologist
                        up that said this but he said keep digging down for the older stuff . He started Archaic under woodland .
                        you have a high area with a spring . That’s living
                        quarters for anything .
                        Happy digging !!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ok now I am jumping on this thread it’s like a book .( thank you for that )
                          so I keep walking down to this creek that a deck is on .
                          dragging down seleants dang how did I get this job but as I walk 1/2 way down everytime on the left side I see a big spall the size of my hand . Flakes show ! It’s a steep walk up but the last time it rained a piece of pottery with a lip showed up on the bottom .
                          ok clear sign there is a camp up there with that pottery .
                          like minkinslow said you kind of wonder where to dig and how far . 1 ft and I am out lol unless I find somthing .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tam View Post
                            Ok now I am jumping on this thread it’s like a book .( thank you for that )
                            so I keep walking down to this creek that a deck is on .
                            dragging down seleants dang how did I get this job but as I walk 1/2 way down everytime on the left side I see a big spall the size of my hand . Flakes show ! It’s a steep walk up but the last time it rained a piece of pottery with a lip showed up on the bottom .
                            ok clear sign there is a camp up there with that pottery .
                            like minkinslow said you kind of wonder where to dig and how far . 1 ft and I am out lol unless I find somthing .
                            Yeah it’s a mystery to me sometimes just how far down to go and where. I’m just gonna take some advice from y’all here and play around with it and see what happens. I’m also thinking of raking back as much of the leaf material just to see what else I might find on top and maybe that’ll give me a clue as where to start

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Often when digging you might find fire cracked rock. The rock will have irregular breaks and be reddish an calcined from heat. If you dig carefully you can spot post molds and other odd stains in the soil left by decayed organic material. Wiljo showed some wattle and daub in an earlier thread. You can learn a lot from digging. Link to that thread
                              https://forums.arrowheads.com/forum/...attle-and-daub
                              TN formerly CT Visit our store http://stores.arrowheads.com/store.p...m-Trading-Post

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X