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.

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