Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Hello Fort St. Joseph followers! I have the privilege of being the first student blogger of the 2011 field season. I’m Cathrine Davis, and I major in Anthropology at Western Michigan University. I have been an Adult Summer Camper for two previous seasons with the project, and now that I have completed my first year at WMU, I am happy to return as a member of the field school this summer. In addition to being a student, I am also the site photographer. I hope that my unique perspective as a student will be expressed in my photos and allow all of you to share in the excitement and experience of myself and my fellow students this season.

Today we arrived in Niles, many of us for the first time, and set up headquarters at Niles High School. (We are already in the paper!) Overall we are happy to have these facilities as housing this season and I for one would like to thank the community for allowing us to live here. After settling in, we toured the monuments along Bond Street, the Fort site, and the Lyne site. The Lyne site will be our work for the next week or so, commencing with clearing the site and setting up units tomorrow. The site itself is located on a terrace above the St. Joseph River, and has been excavated in previous seasons. It was a new experience for me, because I have only worked at the Fort site as a camper. The previous excavations at this site have turned up numerous smudge pits, small holes filled with carbonized corn cobs (They preserve because the cobs are burnt while they are still green to produce smoke) used most likely for tanning animal hides. We have decided to turn our attention to a different region of the site this year. Hopefully we will recover some new and interesting information as the excavation process progresses.
The group at the Summerville Mound Site.
After touring the sites and the Fort St. Joseph Museum, we were grateful for a wonderful home cooked meal provided by Barb Cook, a long time supporter of the project and member of Support the Fort. After dinner, she told us a little more about the history of the region and showed us the Sumnerville Mound Site, Hopewellian mounds from the 1st-4th centuries AD. Myself and the other students look forward to letting you in on more of our experiences so STAY TUNED!


Photo credit Cathrine Davis

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