the archeology of landscaping

April 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

 After a week of digging around in my neighbor’s backyard we found no really interesting artifacts, no gold or dead bodies. What we found today though was exciting…at least to me. I was digging around at one of the corners of our plot and just outside about 3″ deep I found a bunch of old bricks that match the original bricks of the house. Someone at some point in time used the leftover bricks to create a garden border about 20′ long with them. It looked like at one time the backyard was probably nicely cultivated but whoever lived in it in the last 20 years just let the landscaping become completely overgrown. It makes you wonder what else you might find just below the surface.

It made me think about how nice it is in an old house when you find beautiful hardwood floors underneath a carpet you can restore. I think people often focus their attention inside but there are interesting bits of history to find outside as well. Some people might look at it as a new stockpile of original bricks, knowing you can’t buy bricks like the ones used to build the house any longer. If it were up to me I would keep the border there as another part of history of the home and try to see what else you might uncover. It’s obvious at some point that someone cared about it.

Even though there was no treasure to be had (so far), we did have fun. I even have a new little friend, Smoke, who kept coming by to see our progress.

I did have this feeling every time I was digging like there might be something so close but we might be digging in the wrong place. What if we were just inches away from something really cool and will never find out? I suppose if something wants to stay buried, it will stay buried.

The one place I’m still convinced we would be most likely to find something is in their basement. A gold miner living there for 60 years during Prohibition and the Depression? I bet there are some interesting things hidden for safekeeping. It’s too bad I’m too afraid to run into the ghosts in the basement.

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