The front page of today’s edition of the Charleston Post and Courier included a very good article about the dig, written by architectural columnist, Robert Behre. A lot of Charlestonians and tourists read the article, Wall to Wall Dig, and visited the site to have a look at the work. While there may not be much to see yet, the crew is very pleased with the results so far. After two days of hand digging, the College of Charleston students have excavated three square units to a depth of nearly three feet, and have reached what appears to be the top of the remnants of the colonial-era redan and the floor of the Lower Market.


(click on the images to enlarge)

At a depth of approximately 2.5 feet, they found a number of relatively thin red brick pavers, identical to ones seen in last year’s dig, which represent the floor of the Lower Market after it was extended over the remains of the redan in 1786. Many of the pavers were disturbed during some construction two centuries ago, but some can be seen in their original horizontal position. Immediately below those brick pavers is the top of the redan wall. In the photographs above, the redan surface is the field of whitish mortar below the flat red bricks of the market floor. Because of the relatively small size of the present excavated units, it’s rather difficult to convey a sense of the location of these features. Not to worry, however, because tomorrow and in the coming days the crew will open further units and improve the view. The next few days should be very exciting.

Every bit of dirt excavated from the controlled units is being screened, and the College of Charleston students are getting some valuable field experience in identifying fragments of animal bones, glassware, and a wide range of eighteenth-century ceramics. The prize find of the day, however, was a small remnant of a teapot lid, dating from the era 1760–1800. It’s made of unglazed (stained) black basalt ware, and as you can see in the photograph above, it appears to be a spaniel measuring just a few centimeters in length and height. All of the artifacts from this dig will be taken to the Charletson Museum for curation.