LEMP AVENUE SITE
|Clean up of city debris by the crew and AIA members in November of 2000.|
|Sixty-one excavation units, each measuring 1 x 1 meter, have been investigated at the site. Clusters of units focused on specific features in different parts of the site. In the NE corner, a deep square brick feature, identified as a privy, was located. The soil inside of this feature, especially to the south, was very artifact rich and yielded abundant pottery and glass as well as more unusual artifacts including domino tiles, lead bullets, and many whole bottles. Several artifacts in the deposits outside of the privy date to at least the mid-nineteenth century.|
|Gateway student in brick lined privy exposing the tile sewer drain pipe.|
No written description of a comparable structure has been located, but it is assume to be a privy. Artifacts found in this area include ceramic sherds and whole bottles. Both privies had been disturbed when sewer lines were laid in the 1950s.
Just to the South of the privy feature is another deep, brick-lined feature that measures approximately 2 meters long, 1.5 meters wide and 2.5 meters deep. The north wall is straight from top to bottom, but the south wall is semi-barrel shaped.
|Excavations also focused on the interior of the rear of at 3316 Lemp. When this house was demolished (in the 1970s) the aboveground structure was simply pushed into its own cellar. This practice is common in St. Louis as the city workers call it "green lotting."|
|Archaeological excavation at 3316 Lemp consisted of removing the overburden or carpeting, roofing tiles, walls with wall paper still attached, bricks, and other household debris.|
|Angela Gordon (WU) assists a Gateway student drawing.|
|Few artifacts from the 19th century were found in the overburden in 3316 Lemp. In a shallow historic deposit, above sterile soil, some historic artifacts were found, including a small cache of mouthpieces for glassblowing equipment. These were found in excavation unit 21, approximately 2 meters below datum (ground surface). At the south end of the house, a hearth or chimney structure was located and excavated. Five units surrounded the exterior of this structure and included significant amounts of decayed wood fragments and oxidized metals.|
|Workmen's patio where glass nips and raw glass was discovered in 1999|
|Parkway West student drawing a profile in 2000. The elephant trunk and the cowry shell were found at this level.|
|Excavations at the north end of the house at 3316 Lemp focused mostly on the exterior and cornerstones of the building. A brick patio was located 70 cm. below datum (ground surface), clearly associated with the house. Below the patio, several important artifacts were found. A cowry shell and an elephants trunk (carved from ivory) were found in unit 29 where they were sealed beneath the patio level with man other artifacts and animal bones. Excavations were particularly deep in unit 29 because the NE cornerstone of the house was approximately 3 meters below datum.|
Cowry shells are used as decoration, currency and in ritual contexts by several African cultures. Cowry shells are highly unusual at archaeological sites in the Midwest. Likewise, the carved bone or ivory elephant trunk could be the work of an artist with a deep interest in Africa. Both artifacts can be considered evidence of an African or African-American historic presence at the site. Another class of relevant artifacts include carved wooden buttons that were discovered during the 1999 seasons. The examples from the Lemp site are virtually identical in style to one found in the slave quarters of the Mount Vernon Plantation (home of George Washington).
|Parkway West student starting an excavation square.|
|A scattering of excavation units
were placed to the south of the existing house in an attempt to locate foundations
for the late 19th century office building associated with the coal and lumber
yard at 3318 Lemp.
||Gateway student records data on a locus form in the summer of 2000.|
|No foundations were located, although there was a great deal of broken and crumbling brick, wood and coal. A stratum containing large quantities of coal provide archaeological ground truth of a historic coal and lumber yard on the property. Why is this significant? It would be a natural progression for property that was originally used as slave quarters.|
|Three Gateway students work in the the kitchen activity area 3316 in the summer of 2000.|
|Another set of units were opened near the back property line near the SE corner. Despite the presence of privies at the rear of 3314 and 3316, no privy was identified in this area. Decayed wood, spurs, and one postmold were found in the area believed to be the former location of a commercial stable once operating on the property.|
|Finally, during the last week of the 2000 season, debris was removed from above the tunnel entrance by Gateway Tech employees. Excavation of the tunnel began in mid-July by Chip Clatto and adult volunteers. Soil removed from this feature included many artifacts including ceramic and glassware.|