During our initial excavation planning, sub-operation G, the only unit not placed over a corner of our potential foundation, was thought to maybe be a doorway into the Bishop’s Cabin. Of course, this was only an educated guess based on GPR data, but what we found when we started digging was more complicated and surprising than we thought. Sub-op G is located on the north edge of the site, towards the center, as shown in Figure 1.

Instead of hitting flat stone, as a few other units did, we found a large deposit of brick. In particular, some of the brick was very burnt. A lot of the brick fell apart very easily, and was found along with charcoal and a white, powdery substance we assumed was mortar. As we dug deeper, we noticed that the deposit was mostly along the north side of the unit, but there was also a more burnt section in the southwest corner.

Toward the east side of the unit, we additionally found two large blocks of glazed brick. The bricks have a black, shiny coat painted on top of them, giving the bricks a smoother texture.

When looking at the vertical stratigraphy of our unit, we could see a line of mortar that separated our layers. Below the mortar is where the soil began to consist of a combination of dirt, brick, mortar, and charcoal, dispersed in almost all sections of the unit, but highly concentrated in certain areas.

The large amounts of burnt brick and charcoal may indicate that we are located above where a chimney or hearth may have been. The glazed brick could have been used for a few purposes, as it is both decorative and adds a layer of protection. The glaze can help prevent staining or damage to the bricks.

The brick industry in Ohio did not take off until the 1880s, about 60 years after the time period we are looking at with our research. This makes our large brick deposit particularly interesting, as brick would have been more difficult to produce in large quantities. The brick is also soft and crumbly, which is a sign of a longer, hand-made brick making process. Future lab analysis may help us determine exactly where these bricks came from. Hopefully, as we continue excavations in the coming weeks, a more distinct shape of the brick layout will become apparent, and we can determine what we are looking at within the spatial context of the Bishop’s Cabin.