Our writer today, Kirsten.

With our field season coming to an end, it is time for us, as a group, to reflect on what we have found so far and come up with theories as to what the archaeology is telling us. We have meetings, where we can discuss and draw maps of our site and the context within them. In the most Northern part of our site, for example, we have found a beautiful array of large pieces of ceramic, many white, with multiple colours and designs on them. Many of these pieces we have been able to piece together, creating a better view of what the original object was. Scattered among the ceramic pieces there is also glass, as well as nails and even a few shot gun casings. With such a great amount of larger fragmented pieces, it is a possibility that this may have been a garbage pit. If this was a garbage pit, it could have been used for a variety of things, but only the hardy ceramics, glass and metals survived for over the past 100 years.

But it is not only the artifacts that tell us something about the site, it is also the lack of artifacts. For example, just South of this area we are finding that many units have clay, sand, as well as possible lime deposits. With many artifacts on the surface, due to plow zone, there is a drastic decrease as you get into these deposits. These deposits can possibly been a foundation of the house, or stable. With many small children living in a house you would not want to have large pieces of glass, ceramic or nails, lying on your floor. (This is another reason why we believe the heavy concentration of artifacts in the Northern part may have been a garbage pit.)

Tiffany (L) and Kirsten (R) helping to plot in new units.

Besides our theories, as our field season comes to a close, with a week and half left, there are still lots of things for us archaeologists to do. We must fill our units back in with the soil, sand and clay that we so carefully took out. We must map in the pieces of ceramic, glass and metal, that we have laying around the site using a total station, where units were not set up. We must clean and catalogue our artifacts, as well as write detailed reports of everything we have found. But most importantly, we must thank our hosts, the people of the Mennonite Heritage Village, as well as the multiple partnerships, friends and volunteers who helped make this year’s Blumenhof Archaeological Project a success.

The crew at MHV.

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About the Author

Barry is the Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Village. While he does not consider himself to be a historian, he places a high value on the preservation and interpretation of the Mennonite and pioneer stories that help people of all ages understand and appreciate their heritage. Learn more about the MHV.

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