Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Site Clearing, Accomplished.

Hello readers,
Clearing the Fort site
Today is the second day that the archaeological field school was out at the dig sites. Currently the archaeological work is centralized at the Lyne site while clearing is still in progress at the Fort site. This morning we blazed a trail to connect the sites and then spent the majority of the morning clearing the trail and then cutting through the tall grass at the Fort site. During this time a survey crew also mapped out each pit groups individual dig sites and soon after lunch we were able to start excavating!
I have a new found appreciation for the skill of keeping the excavation pit neat and level. To keep the bottom of the pit neat and the sides straight down is extremely difficult. The large density of roots do not help matters by any means. I think my pit is possibly the messiest by far but the two medium sized rocks, mole tunnels, and extremely dry soil do not make the going any easier.
Dr. Nassaney teaching proper techniques
There are some cool artifacts being found already though, we are not even done with our first level but we are already finding artifacts all over the dig site. Most of the artifacts are extremely difficult to identify when they are still in the pit. First we have to dig in our pit and then put the dirt that was excavated into a 1/8 inch screen to safely dispose of the dirt and identify possible artifacts.
Today my pit partner and I uncovered some low fired pottery pieces possibly made by Native Americans, charcoal fragments, charcoal byproducts, and a .22 caliber lead bullet. All that and we are not more than 5 cm down in the soil. In other pits people are finding bone fragments, glass pieces, and roots. The large amount of roots in close proximity to the artifacts raise the question of the artifacts being disturbed but it is still too soon to tell.
Happily eating dinner
After a long day at the field and a quick clean up we were fortunate enough to have our dinner provided by the Fort St. Joseph Historical Association. It was very delicious and appreciated by everyone in the field school. I know I ate far more than I should have but after a long day of hard work everything just looked too good to pass up. The people were beyond welcoming and a joy to talk to as well as get to know.
During lab today we are working on getting artifacts sorted out and identified. Some people are working on learning how to enter artifacts into the database, some are screening and picking out artifacts, and some are also working on getting everything sorted for the French Market. As of yet we are not working with artifacts found from the sites this year but we should be able to soon. It will be interesting to see what will be discovered and what we shall be able to learn from it. I am sure that tomorrow will be just as intense and informative as today so stay tuned.

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