Don't get me wrong! I've enjoyed our presentations, and I appreciate the importance of moving around to different tasks, so that everybody gets a solid amount of experience with all the different field techniques. Now that we've learned how to use the transit; locate artifacts with said transit and an accompanying measuring tape or stadia rod/plumb bob combo; locate artifacts using a GPS unit; plot boundaries; work with augers; dig test pits; screen for artifacts; and get a sense of what actually is an artifact (plus so much more)... it feels great to have "earned" the reward of focusing on one excavation pit for the entire day.
Ken, Christy and I worked on Control Unit 2 (CU2) last Saturday, May 14th, under the watchful and incredibly patient eye of David B. We inherited some artifacts from last week's Level One crew that we needed to sort and bag with anything else we discovered as we smoothed the pit down to the bottom of the first level.
I volunteered to log the artifacts found in Level One (6 - 16 cmbg) into the Excavation Plot Inventory Form, which I enjoyed most thoroughly. We decided to organize the artifacts into the following categories:
Once we finished digging down to the bottom of Level One... presto-chango! It became the top of Level Two. We made it all official with the letter board, a (magnetic) north-facing directional marker, and a photo taken on the Official Site Camera by David B.
Work proceeded at a steady pace before and after lunch. Digging, sifting, examining artifacts, sorting, logging. I was lucky in that nobody else was much interested in inventorying the artifacts as much as I was; as a consequence, I got to sit on my butt for a good part of the afternoon. Thanks, guys! ;)
The artifacts were much the same in Level Two as Level One, with a couple of exceptions:
We were pretty dismayed to find plastic down by the 26 cmbg mark. Bioturbation, anybody? We found a little plastic button too, but not so far down as the blue plastic ruler. These finds necessitated the addition of a "Miscellaneous" bag to the inventory log.
The afternoon was winding down, so we collected the artifacts from Level Three into one bag, for next week's crew to inherit. I'm sorry to say that they aren't very interesting. Maybe next week's crew will have more luck further down!
I asked David how far down he thought we would be digging, and he said we could go down to a meter... which seems so deep to me! I think it would be cool to be standing that far down in the earth, but I bet it gets harder to dig and haul the dirt out of there. David also said that if we go through a level or two that turn out to be sterile, the plot could be abandoned.