Posted by Carter Hudgins, Interim Director of Preservation/Site Archaeologist
10/27: Today, Drayton Hall’s Archaeological Institute hit the ground digging! Participants Brandie Dunning, Terry Satterfield, Ray Satterfield, Shelby Nelson, Stan Younce and Edward Crawford started work alongside Drayton Hall Preservation Department staff in the hopes of shedding new light on the history of the site.
The week-long Institute focuses on the northwest corner of the main house where a large colonnade may have once connected the main house to the north flanker. An identical wall would have also connected the main house to the south flanker giving the architectural complex a grand, symmetrical appearance. While the colonnade is no longer present above ground, it is anticipated that traces of the walls may remain below ground.
With the expectation of finding the footprint of the colonnade, Sarah Stroud and I established a site grid and laid out six excavation units anticipated to span from one side of the colonnade to the other. Following the establishment of a site grid excavation began!
A great deal of the work on Monday focused on excavating the upper layers of modern fill concentrated around the house. Topsoil and grass were first removed along with soil associated with a drainage line established in the 1980s. Work then continued with the examination of the historic layers below.
At the end of the day on Monday excavation of a pair of 5’X5’ units was well under way. Numerous artifacts dating to the 1700 & 1800s were found along with concentrations of slate that once served as roofing material. As work continues, more artifacts and features from the 18th century are expected to surface.
Take a look at some of the images of the work under way by clicking here.