Cesspool?

Discussion in 'Archaeology Arena' started by Nomad, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad New Member

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    I have been trying my hand at finding old habitations, etc., on public land near me in Somerset County. While trying to locate an 1860 farmstead I came across a circular depression about 20 feet across and 5-6 deep with sloping sides of something like 45 degrees. The area has a history of logging and farming, and peach orchards. I'm thinking it might be an old cesspool that gradually eroded inwards? The area is extremely rocky, and it would not have been easy to dig that out. Also, it doesn't seem to be the cavity left by an uprooted tree - there's no large tree lying near it. Any ideas?
     
  2. imkms

    imkms Explorer

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    Sounds more like an old basement, or other foundation. Cesspools were usually smaller than 20 feet across.
     
  3. Nomad

    Nomad New Member

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    Thanks. I should note there was no type of retaining material like stone along the sides. I thought it may have originally been a narrower and deeper hole, but when the sides collapsed inwards it became wider and shallower. I was trying to determine the location of the buildings on an 1860 map by distance and angle from known road intersections. Pretty rough estimate, but maybe it paid off. Found some other indications of habitation: a stone ramp leading up to a very long horizontal boulder and a tree that had been partially sawed through and then apparently fell over some time later.