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New Discoveries

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Date: Nov. 6th '13
Time:
Title: Excavating Structure 9 at the Cupids Cove Plantation, Oct 25, 2013.
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Entry:
 

November 6, 2013

Excavations at the Cupids Cove Plantation PHS finished this year on October 25.  During 2013, much of our work focused on a stone feature located about 5m east of the Spracklin House, near the entrance to the site. Until the summer of 2010 a clapboard garage had stood in this spot. The garage was literally falling down and, in the course of preparing the site for the 400 anniversary celebrations, it was removed. Beneath its wooden floor we noticed a concentration of flat stones. We were unable to investigate further at the time and the area was covered with a layer of topsoil and seeded.

This stone feature stands on the low ground at the edge of the bank that rises south and east to the terrace where the main part of the site is located. The outer defensive wall and gun platform uncovered between 2009 and 2011 are located on this terrace about 20m farther south (see entries for Oct. 31 & Nov. 18, 2011 on Page 2). Once the garage had been removed and the area cleaned up, we could see two ridges on the edge of the bank. A 5m long ridge runs from west to east along the southern edge of the bank and is adjoined, at its eastern end, by a second ridge which extends north from it at a right angle for 7m.  When probed with a chaining pin, these ridges appeared to consist mainly of solid rock beneath at 20cm overburden of soil.  In 2012 we dug one test pit south of the east-west ridge and another east of the north-south ridge. Both produced 17th century artifacts.  

In 2013 we returned to this area to have a closer look. At first we thought the ridges might mark the location of stone walls but we soon discovered that they were formed from rubble deposited in the 17th century. The concentration of stones just north and west of these ridges turned out to be part of a feature, which we have designated Structure 9.

Structure 9 is about 4.5m (14 ¾ ft) wide, from east to west. That portion of it exposed to date runs north from the southern edge of the bank for 6.28m (20 ½ ft) although it may well extend beyond that. The remains of stone walls run along the eastern, southern and western sides of the structure and stones have been laid down inside the space defined by these walls to create a platform clearly designed to raise this area above what was originally the high water mark.

Although today Structure 9 lies 30m south of the Salt Water Pond on the south side of Cupids harbour, this is a result of infilling over the past two centuries. In the 17th century the structure would have stood right on the water’s edge. Even now, when the tide is unusually high, salt water sometimes flows in through the culverts and floods the area to the west of Structure 9.

It would appear that Structure 9 is part of some sort of harbour-side facility, possibly a dock or wharf. It also seems clear that the structure dates to the 17th century. Aside from the debris left over from the collapse of the garage and a layer of fill deposited immediately west of it in the 19th century, all the artifacts found in association with Structure 9 are of 17th century origin (see the images below). Of course, wharves and docking facilities would have been essential to the proper operation of a colony so closely connected to the sea and it makes sense that we would find the remains of such structures on the original shoreline.  

In the course of uncovering the east wall of Structure 9, we also extended the excavation into the bank that rises to the east just beyond it and were surprised to find that, instead of being natural, at least a portion it is made up of large pieces of rubble that were deposited in the 17th century. At this point we cannot say exactly how much of the bank is rubble. Nor do we know if the rubble is collapse from Structure 9 or the remains of another building farther to the east. In 2014 we will be uncovering more of Structure 9 and extending the excavation farther east into the bank. 






Date: Nov. 6th '13
Time:
Title: Uncovering the East Wall of Structure 9.
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Entry:

Uncovering the east wall of Structure 9 and the rubble beyond on October 25, 2013.






Date: Nov. 6th '13
Time:
Title: North Devon Ware Fragments Found above the East Wall
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Entry:

A North Devon ware rim fragment (left) and base fragment found above the east wall of Structure 9 on the final day of excavation for 2013.






Date: Nov. 6th '13
Time:
Title: Pipe Bowl from the First Half of the 17th Century
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Entry:

A pipe bowl dating to the first half of the 17th century found just east of Structure 9.






Date: Nov. 6th '13
Time:
Title: 17th Century S-Hook Found in the Rubble East of Structure 9.
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Entry:

This s-hook was found in good 17th century context amongst the rubble just east of Structure 9. It was probably used to suspend a cooking pot over a fire.






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