Thursday, August 10, 2017

The End is Near

     Hello all, Crystal again. Our field season is coming to an end. The units range from 40 to 55 centimeters below datum. The consensus is we want to keep digging. It seems the deeper we get the more questions are risen. Also, more exciting artifacts are recovered! Just this past Tuesday, an elaborate button, a puzzling long blade, and a fascinating adornment chain was discovered. Though I wish I could answer and uncover everything right now, I know the best I can do for the ongoing research at Fort St. Joseph is be thorough. 
 Extracting the core samples from the
B horizon deposit in our unit.
     Photographs, maps, notes, lab work, cataloging, analysis, and curation all rely on individuals attention to detail and careful recording. Although the digging has stopped, everything I just listed continues to interpret the archaeological record. An additional way we can understand the archaeological record without the traditional excavation is by way of core samples. Doctor Nassaney proposed a core sample at N20 E3(our unit's coordinates at the site) because the occupation zone was suspiciously small and a thick streak of dark yellowish brown soil running through our unit created more questions than answers. With limited time left we opted for a core sample to tell us a sliver of information about the soil residing beneath. 
     After we extracted thin long cylinders of soil from beneath what we once thought was the B horizon(the soil layer before people inhabited the area), we learned the streak was in fact B horizon fill. Meaning, people in the 18th century dug into the B horizon soil and deposited it in the area we are currently studying. This appeared in our core sample as a short layer of yellowish brown soil that transitioned to a brownish grey soil that is characteristic of the occupation zone. What intrigues me further is the streak lines up with Feature 28 in a neighboring unit. This feature being a possible wall fill that suggests the corner of what has previously been identified as Structure 5. The colors are starkly different between Feature 28 and our B horizon fill but two anomalies that line up like these do is worth further inquiry and interpretation. Morgan and I have been diligently recording information for archaeologists in the future. As hard as it is to walk away with so many questions I know I’ll be reading this blog next year thrilled about the new insight each student brings to the Field. 

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