Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Box, the Belt, the Hinge

Back today to the site of my mysterious ruin in the woods. Now in 20-degree weather with a dusting of snow, I had a broom and rake to help me uncover and measure the length and width of the ruin so far: 11 feet by 10 feet. Didn't bring a shovel or trowel; today, the soil was damp and my goal was getting the site cleared. I raked up a lid of a small white plastic box which shows damage, as if from heat, along one edge. It's packed full of earth. Then, uprooting and discarding clumps of grass growing between the concrete slabs, I found a woven belt, frozen and plastered with dirt and moss, its buckle well-rusted. (Click the photo to see the items in detail.)

Just as I was about to leave, thinking about the tools required for tomorrow, I noticed sticking up between the slabs a rusty man-made object. Ruining my gloves, I dug around it by hand. Really and truly it was stuck. It had a bend in it that forced me to dig deeper and in a different direction and discover that a tree root had anchored it in place. With all my strength I snapped this root and released the object. It looks like a rusty hinge, but I brought it back to the house to let the damp soil on it dry overnight, so I can clean it with a toothbrush tomorrow and give us all a better idea of what it looks like. I will also clean the belt. One more find in the dampish, nearly frozen earth looked like a finger ring. I hoped it was. But it was a pop-top ring. Those came into use in 1965; whatever happened to this site happened later.


BowlingTrophyWife said...

With regard to the pop top lid - someone might have visited the site at a later date. Can you give me some idea of the relative location of the find? I've been looking at aerial views, especially winter ones - they sometimes can show old trail routes and I do see two old trail routes. One, I think you know of - the one that goes around and to the left of the old baseball field, through the woods and up to that 'newer' road above the old camp. I'm really tickled by all of this - and again, yes, i wish I could help with the archaeological dig!!!!

BowlingTrophyWife said...

Oh, for a good metal detector!

Pablo said...

I wish I could find a site like that in my woods. I've some some fencing stuff, and old cow bones from the ranching days now a half century gone, but a trove of human activity like this would be fantastic. I'm eager to see what you learn.