Submitted by James J. D'Angelo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society—GARS—teamed with the Fort Daniel Foundation to again combine their public archaeology event with FDF’s 2nd annual Frontier Faire at the Fort Daniel site in Gwinnett County, May 22-23. A highlight of the weekend was a brick making project employing methods and technology that would have been used in the late 18th–early 19th centuries. The clay was mined at the property where Fort Daniel is located. The project actually took more than two months, with molding of 95 “Fort Daniel 1813” brick (Figures 1, 2), air drying, construction of the Clamp kiln, and firing the kiln during the event. Cherokee Brick & Tile Co., Macon, donated 450 “Archaeobrick” for most of the kiln’s construction (Figure 3), and “burned” 50 of the best Fort Daniel brick in their modern tunnel kiln. The remaining “green” Fort Daniel brick were put in the Fort Daniel clamp kiln. Because burning would normally take 1–2 weeks in this type of kiln, the burning was only a demonstration and brick made by children at the event were taken home to be dried as “green” brick (Figure 4).
The archaeology portion of the event, which was supervised by Georgia archaeologists Siska Willams and TRC’s Price and Emily Laird, entailed more tracing the fort’s palisade wall trenches. The south end of the west wall trench was located. With this and the previously excavated west end of the south wall, it was clear that the first floor of the previously identified southwest corner Blockhouse was no less than 10′ x 10′, but may have been more like 12′ x 12′, since it would have extended beyond the palisade. The cantilevered second floor would have extended out even more. It was also determined that the previously identified hearth feature within the blockhouse, most likely a stone-lined fire pit, was situated in the center of that room (Figure 5).
On August 14th, GARS members located the east end of the south wall trench and its corner with the south end of the east wall (Figure 6). The length of the south wall trench is thus 62′ and the wall, including the blockhouse would be 72′ plus a probable 2-foot projection in that corner. It was now clear that the previously identified “latrine” ditch is actually the northern-most 14′ of the east wall, and that there was probably a gate south of this segment as suggested by the gap in the trench line.
On August 23rd, the northwest corner, where the west wall and north wall trenches meet, was located. Given the known lengths of south, west and east wall segments there is now convincing evidence that there was also a blockhouse in the northwest corner (Figure 7).