Elem Historic Feature 5

Chinese ceramics
Prosser button
Borax Lake obsidian knife

Mine waste excavation beneath the western road encountered historical artifacts in front of Lot 13.  The feature was well defined and contained glass, ceramics, metal objects, regular brick and firebrick.  The feature covered an area 16 meters NS by 20 meters EW.  The feature area was flagged and its boundary spray-painted to keep construction workers and equipment out.

The mine waste had been removed and it was anticipated that the feature would be protected and preserved beneath the clean fill and road construction.  With the understanding that the feature would be protected, no soil samples were recovered or processed from the feature.  A few artifacts exposed on the  surface of the feature were collected and processed.

Metal Artifacts

Most metal artifacts recovered represented outdoor farming and hardware activities.  Wire nails (5), square nails (1), a fence staple, washer, and angle bracket were recovered indicating general construction.  Two horseshoes (H5-45), a strap buckle (H5-50) and the blade from a horse drawn tilling rake (H5-47) suggest agricultural activities.  An ax head (H5-44) suggests the preparation of heating and stove wood.  A toy truck (H5-28) and wheat penny (H5-23) indicate personal and recreational items.

Ax head
Toy truck
Wheat penny

Asian Ceramics (3)

Asian ceramics included two porcelain pieces (a blue on white and a polychrome) that appeared to be rice bowl fragments (H5-3, H5-31).  One brown glazed stoneware piece was recovered (H5-4) that is a fragment of either a food jar or spouted jar.

Button (1)

A single Prosser button was recovered.  This was a 4-hole, sew-through type, 22-lines in size.

Chipped Stone (1)

A single Borax Lake obsidian knife (H5-2) was recovered from the H5 area.

DietaryBone and Shell

Three pieces of mammal bone, one piece of Washington clam (H5-52, saxidomus), and several pieces of freshwater mussel (H5-51) were also recovered.

Glass Artifacts (21)

Glass bottles included fragments of a canning jar, cold cream jar, medicine (H5-9), soda (Pepsi), a large hand-blown carboy (H5-20) and several unidentified clear, brown, lime green, aqua green, and one of purple glass.

Both machine made and hand blown bottles were recovered indicating use as early as 1914 and as late as 1960.  Glass containers indicated household activities including canning, general food and beverage consumption, medicine, and hygiene.  The carboy suggests water transport.  These types of jugs and bottles are expected due to the fact that the reservation had no running water until the 1970’s.

EuroAmerican Ceramics (14)

Tableware included stoneware and creamware main course plates (2), saucers (2), and at least 8 unidentifiable pieces.  One porcelain toy sugar bowl lid was recovered (H5-33) indicating children’s recreational activities. Ceramics included a fire brick embossed with “HEATHERY KNOWE/PATENT/ GLASGOW”.  This brick was manufactured near the village of Heathery Knowe, Scotland.  Rawyards Brickworks, Glenboig Brickworks, and Drombathie Brickworks are listed in the area, however, we were unable to determine which company made the brick or when it was manufactured. 

Sugar bowl lid from toy dish set
Feature 5 EuroAmerican ceramics
Heathery Knowe fire brick


Feature 5 materials contained similar household discards that were found in the in the previous features, but relatively more items that were related to farming and livestock.  The square nails and purple glass combined with the Pepsi bottle indicate use as early as 1900 and as late as 1960.

Toys recovered suggest that both girls and boys were present in the household and the existence of Asian ceramics suggest that some members of the household were of Asian descent.

The freshwater mussel shell indicates the gathering and use of lake resources.  The Washington clam shell suggests the manufacture of clamshell disk beads.