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French Azilum: Crossroads of Revolutions
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Foundation of the Enfield Falls Hotel, Enfield Falls, NY

Enfield Falls Archaeological Research Project: the Enfield Falls Hotel

Dr. Sherene Baugher
Cornell University
Enfield Falls, NY

The Project

The Enfield Falls Archaeological Research Project is run as a field school of Cornell University students under the class headings LA 261 Urban Archaeology and LA 262 Lab in Landscape Archaeology at the site of the pre-Civil War village of Enfield Falls, NY in Robert Treman State Park .  The excavation has focused on a number of buildings over the years, including the Tryon House, General Store, Budd House and Wickham House.  In recent years the excavation has focused on the Enfield Falls Hotel, which was well known during its time of operation as a stopover for tourists visiting the scenic waterfalls and gorges in the area.  The project also maintains a display on the excavation in the Enfield Falls Mill Museum, and works closely with Friends of Robert Treman State Park  to create building footprints and signage that integrates known site history with archaeological research.

Dr. Sherene Baugher, Archaeology Program, Cornell University, sbb8@cornell.edu

The application of phosphate analysis

I used phosphate analysis at the site of the Enfield Falls Hotel as part of my MA to determine the extent of the kitchen midden in the backyard of the hotel.  Excavation has identified some midden areas, but midden material did not extend into units where we initially expected it might.  One of the most common uses of phosphate analysis is to identify areas high in organic material, such as kitchen middens, to pinpoint areas for excavation.  This serves to speed the archaeological process by locating areas that are likely to yield a large material assemblage.  

This phosphate analysis survey was able to identify the irregular boundary of the large kitchen midden present in the backyard of the Enfield Falls Hotel, as well as a void in the area of relatively high phosphate levels.  This area was shovel tested to identify the cause of the void, and a roughly cobbled floor surface was uncovered.  Upon further excavation by the project in later season, the area was determined to be an outbuilding that likely served as a detached kitchen to the hotel.  This building was not found through examination of historic maps, shovel testing in the area or the use of GPR in the area, but was evident in the phosphate patterning.  

Johanna Ullrich, Ph.D.