Thursday I-Spy and Friday Update

We’re at the end of Week 4 already!

Due to the rain, we spent May 25th in the lab, and the students began learning how to catalogue artifacts systematically. This involves dividing the cleaned artifacts into types of material such as glass, metal, bone, ceramics, plastics, brick, etc. and then further subdividing these categories into groups of material. This is where we really can start to see the kinds of artifacts they have recovered and try to think about what they can tell us about the site we are excavating in terms of what the site was used for, when it was used, and who was using it.

On Friday, we headed back out to site, and continued work there. We are at a point now where we need to start documenting the walls we have uncovered. This involves drawing plans that are to scale on graph paper, and also photographing them so we can enter those photos into computer software that will let us do photogrammetry with them.

Photogrammetry is using photographs to measure the distance between objects when surveying or mapping. Here is a site detailing how photogrammetry can be very useful for archaeological excavation.

Here, Selena and Trevor are drawing a plan of the western wall of the basement entrance. By measuring relative to a level line (the yellow string), they can capture the slope and depth of the wall contour.
Here, Selena and Trevor are drawing a plan of the western wall of the basement entrance. By measuring relative to a level line (the yellow string), they can capture the slope and depth of the wall contour.

Not everyone was planning today, however, as there is still a lot of excavation that needs to be done. Bjorn and Faisal have been working steadily at removing bulldozed fill from a section of what be believe is a basement to the structure.

Bjorn removing fill from the basement. The corner you see by his shovel was completely hidden by dirt when we started excavation.
Bjorn removing fill from the basement. The corner you see by his shovel was completely hidden by dirt when we started excavation.

We haven’t been recovering as many artifacts lately due to the phase of where we are in the excavations, but here is an interesting I-Spy tray!

Can you find: 1. A comb; 2. A horse bit; 3. A gouge; 4. Two belt buckles; 5. A piece of Blue Willow plate; 6. A fence staple; 7. A spring hinge; 8. The top of a wine bottle.
Can you find: 1. A comb; 2. A horse bit; 3. A gouge; 4. Two belt buckles; 5. A piece of Blue Willow plate; 6. A fence staple; 7. A spring hinge; 8. The top of a wine bottle.

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