Saturday, April 30, 2011

Today was just lovely, it is the fourthe day on site and the fifthe week of the quarter. A bit of a slow start for me getting to class on time, but I did! I was ready to get my notebook back and read where my progress can begin, and I am glad to see there are definitely areas for me to work on. I noticed a change today in the whole atmosphere of class and environment. The winding breezes could be seen along the North Easterly hillside creating a waving within the grasses which are just beginning to touch golden, although are still mostly verdantly green. I enjoyed taking a breather before the start, watching with eyes and ears the life around me. The lovely birds in the sky flocking, the sounds of mating pairs around and in the trees. I constantly make jokes about the turkeys but even today their feathers shone of an iridescence comparable to a phesant's. The scent of fully blooming Hyacinth has died down and now I can scent something else, scotch broom maybe, or possibly it is honeysuckle growing wild on the Mission grounds. My fellow students are even in a much calmer vibration with their stress levels lowered. This was definitely a much better start to the day.

TEST PITS!!! Galore! and teams. The was the first day we started broken into small teams and set directly set upon a task. Today I was grouped with Janna and Krysten for a 50cm test pit. It was mostly square, in the rectangular sense. Breaking ground is literally what we had to do, break it and roughly as the top 10cmBS layer was caked like earthen ware stone. We found a few odd rocks, and animal's burrowing hole about 10cm long to measure, but not much else to speak of. The next 10cmBS went much faster and the soil became easier to both dig and crumble our way through. The three of us took turns digging, screening and recording, and we all laughed together. The wind turned to breeze close to noon, and the Sun began to beat down. Our team blazed through the last 30cmBS which was pretty much like soft clay material. between 20-30cmBS we did find an abundance of charcoal, however much of our remnants were so soft they would crumble when we tried to separate them from the soil. As lunch was called I grabbed a long stick to mark an open pit and we left much of the larger tools at the pit under the impression there would be another group rotating in to dig pit 6B. I am not sure if that happened, but I am still proud of our little pit.

With lunch over and most of us still in a food coma or stuper we were directed to a nice shady tree for to hear a light lecture from a Ms. Phoebe. While I never did hear the answer if it was Sunny with an O or U, it was a great bit of an icebreaker to see scholastic networking last beyond the moments in school. The topic was paleoBotany and what the two definitions of the samples could be. Macro remains would be seeds while Micro remains are much smaller and can tell a story several hundred years long, much like tree rings. She talked about the importance of the different environments for the micro remains of pollen to exist in a preserved state. Phoebe was very clear on the different dating techniques being used for each as well as proper collection techniques. Since I learned about Phytoliths while doing a report on Paleobotany it was great to hear someone actually talk about them and that to study them is not some random side recording, but it can be an actual study placed within an archeological site. She made some excellent points and reminders about a site being a conglomerate of what data each scientist wants to uncover from the site.

After Phoebe's chat the team rotated to Hand Augering with David. Hard earth only gets harder in areas where water might flow upon but not settle within. We were just South East about 30M of the large Eucalyptus nestled with the Almond trees. This core sampling was an exercise in more laughter because really what could you do when twisting, much weight and torque then more twisting just produced 2cm of below surface pure core. This was definitely a trial in patience and determination which accumulated in a few possible grape seeds and orange brick slivers. Oh and the enjoyable image of the class participating a moment of earthenware pinch pot making from the 50-75cmBS soil which is so similar to what I used to work with in my pottery classes. Phoebe even came to enjoy some Augering and screening time. She was just lovely to have around. Sadly the day ended too soon, however it was definitely a long and exhausting day overall. I am looking forward to the next one.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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