Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Through the Labyrinth and on to the Maze

Enjoying some time at the screen!
Today my partner and I finished our unit at the Lyne site. We had a one by one meter unit on the Eastern edge of the site. Our unit gave us a lot of problems at the start of our excavation because we had roots coming out of our walls and popping up in every other spot they could. They varied in size, getting worse before they got better. On last count I think our largest root was six centimeters in diameter! We had a monopoly on the large tree trimmers for most, if not all, of the first couple of days of excavation. While working through our labyrinth of roots we had a constant hope that under the next root there would be a hidden treasure. We were not disappointed--our first find was clinker, which is what is left when coal is burned. As we broke through new ground, we began finding things between 20 to 30 cm. down from our starting point (what we archaeologists call the datum). We found a rusty nail and half of a rusty nail as well as a piece of brown glass.

Core left behind from flint-knapping.

One of the better finds that we had as we reached about 26 cm.below the datum was our unit's first evidence of native peoples in the area. I don't know how much everybody knows about flint knapping, but when stone points and tools were made the rocks used had distinct features left on them. There are three main forms of stones left behind in the archaeological record: a complete form, the core stone from which flakes were taken, and the flakes themselves that were broken off of the core or a stone while being formed. We found a large core, about the size of a small apple (click the photo for a close-up) and then a flake shortly afterward.

Now that we cleaned our walls and flattened our floor we await taking photographs tomorrow in order to close out our unit. By the end of tomorrow or Friday my partner Greg and I will be starting out in new terrain next to the river at the presently swampy Fort St. Joseph site.

Amber Strick

Photo credits Cathrine Davis

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