This blog includes updates from the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project sponsored by Western Michigan University in partnership with the City of Niles, the Fort St. Joseph Museum, Support the Fort, Inc. and other community groups. The Project is dedicated to archaeological research, education, community service learning, and intensive public outreach. The Principal investigator of the Project is Dr. Michael Nassaney.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
This week the crew wrapped up work at the Lyne Site. It has been a long week and while everyone is eager to begin excavation at the Fort Site I know most of us are ready for a little R&R. The students have been cleaning up the floors of their units, drawing profiles, and doing final photographs. The groups that finished up first headed down to the Fort Site to put in a trench and help Zach and I lay in some units with the Total Station, a piece of survey equipment used to calculate exact coordinates and elevations. You have probably seen these used by construction crews or land surveyors, but they are increasingly become the measurement tool of choice for archaeologists as well. The device works when a laser is shot from the main station (see left) to a prism (at right) attached to the top of a rod that is held at the point to be measured.
Greg leveling the floor.
Photo credit Cathrine Davis.
It was great to have the opportunity to be on site more often this week than the last even if I still was dividing my time between meetings and paperwork. Another activity that I, along with a student, do every week is set-up a table at the French Market. This provides the community an opportunity to interact with members of the project, learn about archaeology, and generally be more involved in our work. Even on days when the market is a little slower we have plenty of folks stopping by to hear about the latest finds and just how muddy the Fort Site really is! We always have a good mix of folks that remember us from previous years and those that are just getting acquainted with the project. I really appreciate the opportunity to get to know the people of Niles better and besides, spending the day surrounded by all of those stands with delicious fresh produce cannot be beat! Please stop by to visit us on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Erika M. and I at the French Market.
On Monday everyone should be setting up shop at the Fort Site. We will be sure to keep you posted about our discoveries!