Friday, July 8, 2016

FSJ Welcomes Dr. Sauck!

My name is Nolan Powers and I am from Grand Rapids. Also, I am going into my third year of university. Due to my interest in anything related to history I have chosen to study both history and anthropology.  I am excited to unearth and discover palpable remains at Fort St. Joseph as I know this will strengthen my understanding and connection to the history of the land I know well. 

Not only were groups finding artifacts such as stone flakes from ancient Native Americans, to a musket ball and a ram pipe from the 18th century, and items from the 20th century, the site also had a visit from a professor from the Geoscience Department. Dr. Bill Sauck has traveled the world researching geophysics and using geophysical methods on almost every continent. His arrival proved to be as interesting as the discoveries that were made today. We surveyed the land and also learned from Dr. Sauck how to properly use and understand readings from the magnetometer. A magnetometer is a device where magnetic material is measured and detected in the ground and that data is collected. The tool is influenced by the earth’s magnetic field. What’s more, the device detects any magnetic conductive material, and can relay that data back to the device. We can then use data, from the magnetometer, to plot out on a map where any anomalies are beneath the ground. This gives us a better understanding where the best place to dig is. Throughout the day we followed Dr. Sauck’s instruction as he carefully followed survey lines that were set up in half meter intervals in a 20x20 meter grid. We were able to see some oddities on the small display screen; however Dr. Sauck will take all the data collected and provide the team with a detailed geophysical map, shortly.

Working with Dr. Sauck (Photo Credit: Austin George)

All of this research has been done on the Lynn site, 20BE10. In only two days of work the team has uncovered objects that promote a promising outlook for the island site. We only have one more day of research, until Friday the 8th, to work on the island site until we move to the Fort site, but without hesitation anyone working on the archaeologically unadulterated land would say that this first week has been a great success. 


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