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Excavation Timeline

Excavation These three snapshots show the beginning, middle, and end of excavation of a brick-lined feature in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The feature bottom was reached at about 100 cm below datum (a fixed point from which depth and distance are measured). Careful excavation and documentation, level by level, from the top to the bottom revealed patterning that helped to tell the feature's story. Most of the artifacts dated to the 1870s to 1890s, with some into the early 1900s. Domestic (daily life), structural, and industrial items were recovered, with many of the domestic artifacts found near the top. That pattern, together with historical research, suggested that the feature might have been associated initially with a nearby soap and candle company, and then used as a dumping place.