Report on Archaeological Monitoring of the Waterline at the Castillo de San Marcos


Material Information

Report on Archaeological Monitoring of the Waterline at the Castillo de San Marcos
Series Title:
Castillo de San Marcos Terreplein Project
Physical Description:
Physical Location:
Folder: Castillo reports

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
97-3003; 93-3000; 94-3000
Castillo de San Marcos
System ID:

Full Text

United States Department of the Interior

National Park Service Southeast Archeological Center INREPLYREFERTO: 2035 East Paul Dirac Drive Johnson Building, Suite 120 Tallahassee, Florida 32310

Date: November 1, 2010

To: Director, Southeast Archeological Center eWl K. \2 10i

From: Archeologist Cornelison, Southeast Archeological Cente rC

Subject: Trip report on archeological monitoring of a waterline at Castillo de San Marcos, St.
Augustine, Florida, April 4-8, 2010, SEAC Ace. # 2294.

Castillo de San Marcos (CASA) requested the Southeast Archeological Center (SEAC) monitor the construction of a new waterline running from the water battery on the east of the fort, inside of the covered way on the south side of the fort, under the covered way wall and down the glacis on the west side of the fort until it reached ajunction box near Florida Highway AlA (Figure 1). On April 4, 2010, 1 travelled to the park. The following morning I met with the contractors and maintenance crew that were
installing the waterline.

The project was planned to keep the waterline placement very near to the surface until it reached the covered way wall on the west side of the fort where it would be required to go under the wall. The excavating for the trench began in the water battery. The stratigraphy of this area was well known from an earlier project conducted by SEAC (Sturdevant 2001). Once the line turned westward it was in disturbed soil just below the walking stones that formed the sidewalk. Once the line neared the southwest bastion
the depth to which it was laid was increased.

On April 6"', as the trenching neared the covered way wall, the City of St. Augustine archeologist Carl Halbirt came to assist the project (Figure 2). Halbirt cleaned the profile and gave general soil descriptions That I recorded (Figure 3). Several important pieces of information can be drawn from this view of exposed wall and adjacent soil profile. Halbirt identified an historic occupation between 97-100 centimeters (cm) below the top of the wall. A piece of blue spongeware was recovered from this level and probably dates to the late 18th to early 19th century. The dark nature of the soil and presence of 18 /19h century pottery lead Halbirt to interpret this as an occupation level. This testing also confirmed what was known about another section of the covered way wall. In 2005, SEAC tested a section of the wall that was Figure 1. Route of the waterline in red. leaning near the middle of the western portion of the wall (Lawson 2005). Our excavations revealed that the wall does not have a footer at the base. This lack


of a base tends to cause the walls to lean when they are under pressure from the soil that forms the glacis. Finding that the wall does not have a footer in this location indicates that the entire wall was built without a footer and will continue to lean inward and eventually fall if preventative measures are not taken. On the western side of the covered way wall there is up to 30 cm of dark sandy loam just below the surface. It is believed that this soil was excavated from the fort moat and used to re-nourish and level the glacis during the early National Park Service period.

A number of artifacts were collected during the trench excavations (Table 1). The pearlware recovered postdates the construction of the covered way wall (AD 1780 AD 1830) and as previously stated most likely represents the occupation level following the construction of the covered way. The presence of large mammal bones such as cow is not surprising as cattle were a large percentage of the fort's food supply throughout its history.

In conclusion, this relatively simple project provided an abundance of information concerning the Castillo de San Marcos. The choice to build the covered way wall without a footer in circa AD 1740 has resulted in the need to do additional stabilization in the past 10 years. Since it now seems that the entire wall does not have a footer, a long-term plan for stabilization should be formed. Also since the post covered way level is clearly known, a research plan can be made to target these resources prior to stabilization of the covered way. Excavations of this level would provide insight into the lives of the people inhabiting the fort in the late 18h to early 19th centuries and could be used by the park for interpretation.

Figure 2. City of St. Augustine archeologist Carl Halbirt examining the profile east of the covered way wall.


i ,.

Figure 3. Generalized profile of soil adjacent to the covered way wall.

Table 1. Artifacts recovered during trenching.

FS 1-1 Bos taurus (Cow) Bone 33 EA 447.40 FS 1-2 Blue Floral Hand Painted Pearlware Footring Clay I EA 7.80 FS 1-3 Blue Sponged Pearlware Rim Clay I EA 3.10 FS 1-4 Pearlware Body Sherd Clay 2 EA 12.70 FS 1-5 Salt Glazed Stoneware Rim with Yellow Interior Glaze Clay I EA 76.90 FS 1-6 Untyped Native American Ceramic with clay and grog temper Clay I EA 3.30 FS 1-7 Brick Clay 1.00 BAG 75.60 FS 1-3 Ink bottle Glass J EA 84.30

FS 12 Bue Fora Han PantedPealwar EA7. 3


Lawson, Charles F.
2005 Trip report on archeological testing of the glacis and covered way on the western side of the
Castillo de San Marcos, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, St. Augustine, Florida,
October 11-15, 2005. SEAC Accession 1990.

Sturdevant, Jay T.
2001 Trip Report: Archeological investigation for the installation of an electric transformer in the
area of the water battery at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, St. Augustine Florida,
June 18-21, 2001. SEAC Acc.1603. Ms. On file at SEAC.