To determine what we might expect in the central pit, beginning at Level 3 we opened and excavated several lateral test pits. Test Pit 1 located across Quadrants 1 and 2 on the east side of the central mound (no. 22 right pit) revealed in the balk, a layer of river stones. Before reaching the 2 m depth in this pit we encountered permafrost. Although dry during the day, during the night with temperatures above freezing, the permafrost thawed filling the pit with water. Test Pit 6 (no. 22, center front) revealed the depth of the Layer 6 stones adjacent to the central mound depression. Test Pit 3 (nos. 23 and 24) was particularly interesting as it exposed both the field stones of Level 5 and the river stones of Level 6. Test pit 5 (no. 21) excavated in Quadrant III, indicated that the river stones of Level 6 continued to the edge of the mound.

next page

22. Test Pits 1 (right) and 6 (center left)
21. Top of Level 6 in Test Pit 5
24. Mongols and Americans excavating
23. Test Pits 5 and 6