Thursday, July 28, 2011

Archaeology is a Battlefield

What’s happening, dedicated Fort St. Joseph followers,

Blogging tonight is your one and only FSJ resident funny man, The Lance Meister. Many of you may know me better as the hand holding projectile points and the beautifully preserved lead seal. This also could constitute me as the official hand model of the Fort, with a little luck that hand will keep popping up on the blog holding more of Nile’s great history.

Hanging by the lake at a volunteer's home.
Before getting into my finds and experiences working as a small cog in the FSJ machine, I would like to personally thank everyone involved in the project that goes unnoticed. A special thanks goes out to the sponsors for the amazing food and hospitality shown to our staff and students during our first weeks in Niles. We also appreciate the time and effort donated by our friends affiliated with Support the Fort, along with those hard working individuals there is you. Yes you…without you coming to our lectures, open house, site tours (Fridays at 2:00, if you’re not there you’re square) and following this blog, we wouldn’t have much of a reason to be here digging in the first place. The interest shown in the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Field School and the open house that coincides with it is amazing and will only get better with your word of mouth. So while we are toiling in the mud and muck of the Fort site, we need you to spread the word, so get excited Niles and greater West Michigan, this is your history.

Explaining the unit.

Alright on to my side of this romance novel we are living out involving the dirty sweaty ladies and gents of the field school. Our love affair with the alluvium layers that represent the first 20-30 centimeters of shovel skimming and hand toweling, seemed to melt away like our Popsicle during last week’s heat wave. The heavy hand of last week’s heat was not an enemy left at the side of the river after site clean up, but a shadowy figure following us back to the hot box also known as Niles High School. It seems the only weapon we had to fend off this dastardly creature was the excitement of putting our dirty hands on incredible artifacts.

Ear bob!
Our weapon of choice was unearthed last Friday, an unbelievably well preserved lead bale seal that seemed to breathe new life into our collective lungs. After a short weekend the weather decided that intense heat would not bring us to our knees; Mother Nature opened up the clouds and brought rain upon us students. Ericka and I would need to reveal an artifact that could squelch the storms that were brewing; our comrades in digging would not be disappointed. An elegant and interestingly decorated ear bob, used for native adornment, would come to our defense and strike the sense of despair from our hearts. For this artifact would inspire and continue to drive us students to press on and laugh in the face of a few rain drops. So as a group we say not this time weather, with your wet and rainy clouds and sweat sapping heat, you will not slow down the progress of our group of archaeologists. We are simply too strong, too dedicated, and too darn good at what we do to allow Mother Nature to muck with our affection of uncovering New France’s secrets.

Stay Classy Niles
The Lance Meister

Photo credits Cathrine Davis

1 comment:

Kelley said...

After more investigation it is possible that this artifact was worn as a pendant. More research is required, but we are fairly certain that it was some sort of item for adornment.