Sherene Baugher


Farm drainage was an integral part of the agricultural revloution of the 19th century- a tim during which farmers applied scientific practices to increase the productivity of their farms. As archaeologiests excavate larger portions of the 19th century farmsteads beyond the immediate area surrounding the farmhouse and barns, they will begin to uncover drainage systems more frequently. How do you know you have located a non-tile drainage system? What can drains actually tell you about the farmer and the farmstead? The goal of this paper is to help colleagues save time when working on farm sites by presenting a reference guide to non-tile drains. The guide provides detailed information and cross-sectional diagrams of numerous drains, including a hollow channel stone drain, over 600 feet (200 m) in length from Ithaca, New York. These diagrams can be used by archaeologists for field identifications of agricultural drainage systems. A case study is also included.