Boston Daily Press
April 21, 2014
Unearthing a Lost Historic Landscape
Colonial Williamsburg archaeologist Hank Lutton explores a deeply buried scatter of burned 1700s bricks that were used to fill part of a ravine near the Capitol about 1750.
Here are several photos from Hank Lutton’s current excavation on behalf of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Va. He is supervising Phase II of an extant ca. 1760 brick dwelling house, the Rabon-Saunders House on Ireland Street. While most of the historic stratigraphy has been displaced by late nineteenth and twentieth-century activities, they have recovered evidence of several outbuildings including a largely intact 8 by 10 foot brick footing for an eighteenth-century outbuilding, a fourth quarter nineteenth-century chimney base, a large, oblong, and enigmatic eighteenth-century pit feature they are still trying to ascertain the purpose of, a large eighteenth-century chimney base presumably from the original kitchen, and a ca. 1835-40 brick bat walkway. The attached files includes photos of several members of the crew and Hank with the eighteenth-century kitchen chimney base and second quarter nineteenth-century brick bat walkway. One shot shows the relationship with the house–which clearly leads from what would have been the original back door and cellar entrance to seal the earlier kitchen. The profile of Hank (taken by Rob Hunter (of “Ceramics in America” fame) shows him displaying a mid-twentieth-century Coca-Cola bottle manufactured in Bangor, Maine with the eighteenth-century Rabon-Saunders dwelling house behind Hank.