Saturday, April 23, 2011

Notes and Comments from 4-23-11

Hey all, much like Mark i was having a hell of a time getting this thing all squared away so i could post. All I had to do was check my horizon mail for the invite from Prof. Hartley...GO FIGURE!

I was really glad today we could begin to get our hands dirty. I don't know about anyone else, but when I think of Archaeology I think of getting down and dirty with digging, and today was the first day I could honestly say I was having fun. Not that the class was boring or uninteresting mind you, I understand the need for all the setup and instruction before hand, but I really think that since we've gotten started things will move much smoother. So, onward to what was accomplished today, at least on my end.

Today, before the majority of class arrived, a few of us got together and used the Trimble GPS to plot the artifact clusters that we flagged the previous week. David says that these points will be used on the site map for blah blah technobabble blah blah. (No offense David!) What I gathered from all this was that the GPS data along with the data collected from those of us using the transit and measuring tape (and stadia rod!) will be used as part of the process for deciding where we put our excavation units. As we saw later in the day with the augur cores and test pits, there is artifacts below the surface and while a random sample would be best to cover the site, it certainly helps to know where the known concentrations are.

Speaking of the Stadia Rod, I think I finally got the hang out of...I hope, after several explanations and several looks through the transit. And that's enough on that. I think everyone has had their fill of that thing for awhile. On to the fun stuff! DIGGING!

I did not get a chance to get around to the other groups, but I could give you brief rundown of what my group, (Brenna, Elizabeth, Maria, Myself) were up to on the side of the road. We chose to start an augur core hole in what was earlier termed AC5 For Artifact Concentration 5. We chose this point because it was obviously an area where we knew artifacts were located, (they were sitting on the surface). After initially having a tough time using the augur (STUPID GRASS!) it was pretty easy going using the tool. Our augur was 20cm long with a 15cm diameter and it has been years since I've taken a math course so I'll let someone else come up with the volume of dirt it removes in on go. What we did was go down 20cm, screen the dirt for artifacts, log it in our journals. Fill out the Munsell (sp?) sheet we were provided by David, and repeat the process.) I can't remember the exact numbers without my notebook, but we found the most material within the top 60cm. Below that it was all clay and sandy loam, with decomposed granite (who knew rocks 'decomposed'). We were lucky enough to pull out some tile, glass, bits of metal, a grommet, and some burnt bone. Once we reached 80cm there was no artifacts and we declared that section 'sterile.' All in all, a pretty productive day in the field and I'm really looking forward to getting out there again next week.


  1. Nice! That was an entertaining post, and I appreciate your notes on the trimble and augur since I didn't see it firsthand. Our group at site 1A and 1B (Danny, Richie and me) found some burnt bone too. I'm curious why we are finding burnt bones... Wild fires? Nun BBQs? What do you all think?

  2. I'm no expert, but I think wildfires would be the most plausible cause for the burnt bones. Without a larger concentration of them it would be difficult to make a different assumption. Though the idea of Nuns having a BBQ is a pretty hilarious one, we should ask Sister Karen if they ever BBQ in the summer.

  3. There must be some serious Divine Intervention happening if the nuns are having BBQs around all that dry grass in the summer!! ;)


Feel free to comment on what you see & read here!