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.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
A Rainy Day at Lyne
The group clearing the Fort site
The second day at the Fort ended up being a little soggy,
but I think it was a good start. We made
it to the Fort a little after 8 am and spent the majority of the day clearing
but right before we grabbed lunch at noon I had the opportunity to try my hand
at surveying. The clearing was, not
surprisingly, a test to my endurance and arm muscles. Even though it was a lot
of hard work some parts ended up being pretty fun, including my first time
using a machete!
My first time surveying!
The surveying was fascinating because, even though I am a
student with an interest in anthropology and archaeology, it is not every day that
one gets the opportunity to use surveying technology.
We cleared at Fort St. Joseph in preparation to excavate
later on this summer and surveyed the Lyne site which we will begin excavating
tomorrow. Lunch was a relaxing break,
where we were surprised with yummy cookies from Mary Ellen.
Before we put in units at Lyne, Seth, a fellow classmate who is Ojibwa, informed us about a tobacco giving. As archaeologists we often take from the land to learn, and we were able to give back to the land in a spiritual way that is new to us as students of archaeology through giving tobacco. He taught us that tobacco, or semaa in
his Native American language, is given to the land to say miigwech, which means thank you.
We all grabbed a pinch of semaa,
sprinkled it across the land wherever we liked, and said miigwech in return for the knowledge and artifacts that are taken. Afterwards, as we all were assigned pits and
began measuring them out, a decent amount of rain hit us and we all scrambled
to the cars.
It slowed and we decided to go back to the Lyne site. Anna and I were able to finish measuring our
pits, staking in the correct points, stringing our pit, and began to set up our
screening area to look for artifacts.
Hayden and Alexis measuring their unit with the help of James
At that point, a hard downpour began and we all ran for our
lives, but even so, we ended up like wet puppies. We headed over to the local YMCA, trying not
to track mud everywhere, and were able to take an amazing shower thanks to
their hospitality. The last excitement
of the night was a group dinner of stir-fry that was a ton of fun and much
needed after our first full day of work.