Saturday, June 11, 2011

Contrasting Mission

I went to Napa county and found another mission. Since it was a different mission site, I found it interesting to contrast Mission San Jose with this Mission Solano. What I found most interesting was that this mission (in Napa) was the only mission established under Mexican rule. Here are a few pictures of the artifacts that were in the museum. It would have been interesting if we were to find some of the same artifacts that were displayed here in the museum

We have yet to find anything that resembled any of these artifacts, but who knows, maybe another dig will help us later discover in deeper levels the same kind of artifacts!

Day in the field

We have all found that field work is not for the weak. Those first timers seem to have a great time while others suffered. I love field work, but many times my nose does not. Allergies were the worst enemy of many people out there. It was lucky that C.K. (you know who you are) brought masks that lessened the pollen entrance into my large nose. For that, I can only thank CK.

The following is a few pictures of what people discovered as well as people hard at work

Friday, June 10, 2011

DSCQHR Fire Insurance Maps - 1916 - 1916/32 Modified

So this will be my last post during the quarter. I am wondering if anyone desires to keep the research element active and might want to post further on the subject. I will certainly miss spending Saturdays in pursuit of archaeological knowledge and know-how.

The 1916 Sanborn Map - sheet 1 of 3, for Mission San Jose.

The 1931 Sanborn Map, sheet 1 of 3,(a modified version of 1916) for Mission San Jose

Here are two series of Sanborn maps for DSCQHR for the years 1916 and 1931. For 1931, the 1916 base map was used and the data was modified.

There were some interesting changes in the building footprints as may be seen in the plan views.

These maps also contain insets for the two wineries that operated to the northeast and southeast of our site.

I will refrain from analyzing the maps in greater detail as these data play a prominent role in my version of the excavation report; however, please feel free to utilize the JPEGs for academic purposes and I look forward to reading any ideas any of you have related to the DSCQHR site.

It is my custom to modify these images by using a drafting or photoshop program to generate a unique image and therefore avoid any trouble with copyrights. Again, I have posted these images here in the interest of academic research.

It was an absolute pleasure working with all of you this quarter. Fair Winds and Following Seas - David Pelfrey

Will miss all of you but not that terrible soil!

Hello all,
As I am sitting here writing my site report and reflecting on our quarter filled gophers, turkeys, dirt, trowels, nuns, and more dirt I am sad we weren't able to finish our excavations! It seems we got quite a lot more than we bargained for artifact-wise so that is great but I think all of us would have like to have the satisfaction to get a little deeper! The last day in the lab was really helpful through and gave me a great overview of what we had actually found. There were so many items I had no idea about and are so interesting! I'm wondering if anyone was able to find a circa for that large piece of earthenware in CU 3, found at level 3, this piece was really interesting to me but alas after much research I have given up hope! I wish that we had more stratigraphy to work with in order to have some semblance of order, but unfortunately this site has a mind of its own! I had a great time working with all of you! Have a nice summer!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I guess i am not as 'Binfordian" as I thought ...

yeah it is true, i want to create a whole culture historical story for our little acre ... if only we hadn't found asphalt ... yeah that's right all the ass's phalt ...without it i could have just stuck to my backfill bioturbation theory ...

Lab Work

My lab work consisted of the two in-class sessions, the make-up day on June 3rd, and two other sessions where I came in to work under Brenna’s guidance. I therefore was fortunate enough to try my hand at all the different parts of the “lab process.”

The first task I undertook was washing and cleaning the artifacts. At my first day in the lab, Brenna showed me how to place a colander in a bucket of water, and empty the contents of a bag into the water. The colander prevented some of the smaller items from getting lost. Then, taking a toothbrush, we gently removed the dirt. It was really amazing to see the artifacts completely transform once they were clean. There were so many colors besides brown! It was refreshing. For bone and metal artifacts, we took a dry brush and, without getting them wet, we brushed away as much dirt as possible without damaging the artifact. Unfortunately, I learned there is not too much you can do about rusted nails. Very carefully, we then laid each set of artifacts next to their bag to dry on a tray.

During my next experience with lab work, once again the ever-patient Brenna taught a couple of us how to catalog artifacts. We took little cards and filled in the information written on the outside of the bag onto the card. This included things like the site, type of artifact, what unit it was from, unit size, level, depth, screen size, date excavated, and who excavated it. The next day in class, I continued on this task. It was much easier to complete when the whole class was there because we did not all follow one uniform way of recording the information on the bags as we pulled artifacts out of the ground. Sometimes some bags would not have a date, or the name of the excavators. It was easier to fill in these gaps when I could run up to people and ask “does this look familiar?” and “what date was this?” Perhaps it wasn’t the most scientific approach, but I guess it got the job done.

My next day at lab was at the make up day. During this session, Janna and I weighed artifacts and gave them “artifact numbers.” This was also really fun, because we got to get a feel for just how much of each type of artifact was uncovered. We really did uncover a HUGE amount of tile, glass, ceramic, and bone fragments. And to think- we thought we wouldn’t find anything! At this point Promise and Kevin began entering the artifacts into a database. In the afternoon, I tried to date some of the nails, but was not entirely certain on some of my conclusions. Some were clearly from the mid nineteenth century, but for other nails I could not narrow it down at all (literally the guide gave me three centuries for one style!)

My final day in the lab consisted of attempting to date other artifacts. I struggled in vain to get a date for some of the ceramic shards. I figured out that blue transferware appeared beginning in 1750. I tried desperately to match some of the patterns, but unfortunately we just did not have enough of the pattern to find its maker. The prior week, I believe it was Promise who had some better luck. One fragment had a bit of a maker’s mark- John Maddock. She was able to date this to exactly 1896 in the late Edwardian style.