Summer is here, and the smell of food on the grill is in the air.Chances are, if you just took some hot dogs and hamburgers off the grill, you’ll be topping those tasty treats with some sort of condiment, be it ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, or something similar. If so, you have more in common with some of the earliest European-American settlers in our area than you may realize.Archaeologists investigating a site near the Sparta/Fort McCoy Airport in 2014 recovered an intact glass bottle from a builder’s trench at a farmstead that dates to the beginning of the 20th century.A builder’s trench is a trench that is dug to lay the bottom course of a house foundation, and trenches of this type at historic sites can be filled with all different types of materials and artifacts that offer clues to the age of the associated structure.The catsup bottle found in 2014 could have been produced as early as 1870 based on the origin of the condiment company. This tells archaeological investigators that the earliest construction date for the house foundation came sometime after that year.The H. Wichert Co. was established in 1870 in Chicago and remained in production at least until the turn of the century. It produced a variety of condiments beyond their catsup, including mustards, horseradish, salad oil, and pepper sauce, but no other containers from the company were found in the builder’s trench.Most of the other materials found within the builder’s trench appear to indicate that the building that used to stand there was constructed about 1912.All archaeological work conducted at Fort McCoy was sponsored by the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch.Visitors and employees are reminded they should not collect artifacts on Fort McCoy or other government lands and leave the digging to the professionals.Any person who excavates, removes, damages, or otherwise alters or defaces any historic or prehistoric site, artifact, or object of antiquity on Fort McCoy is in violation of federal law.The discovery of any archaeological artifact should be reported to the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch at 608-388-8214.(Article prepared by the Colorado State University Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands.)