Welcome once again to another exciting edition of Updates from the Field!


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This past week we can definitely say we had  unexpected discoveries. To say the least, it was worthy of an x-file classification. It is no secret that Old Swedes Church is surrounded by a cemetery containing thousands of graves, many of them not marked with headstones or other monuments.

Within the North Buttress unit we came across the shaft for one of these graves! It was not clear at first but once we started to find an increase of quantities of rusted nails we knew it was truly a grave shaft. The soil becoming increasingly mixed and completely different from the surrounding subsoil. We should have expected the unexpected — the GPR suggested we should have just missed the edge of a grave. Now that we have come to a conclusion regarding the presence of a grave, our excavation in the North Buttress came to a close. A member of the Holy Trinity Church clerical staff said a prayer at the graveshaft after services on Sunday.

Well, that makes two units completed and two more to finish so our adventures continue.

When our excavation for the North Buttress came to a close it was very heartfelt for me. I’m Ana and I have been helping with this project since the spring. We even named our big rock Nigel. It was heartfelt to start closing and backfilling the unit for it seems the project is coming to an end faster than I expected.  We are more than ready to take on the challenge of completing our work at the South Buttress and South Porch, so stay tuned to see what we find.