We’re back!

We’re kicking off a new season of exploring the area around Nassau Mills!

This year we have nineteen students registered, a big group, but we have some great staff who will be helping our students as they learn about field methods.

We have big plans this year, so I hope you enjoy following along with us as we discover some more of the site’s secrets. We started on May 1st, with an orientation meeting, some presentations about archaeology in the Kawarthas, and an overview of our work last summer at the site. Then we took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a walking tour around campus. James pointed out traces of the past cultural landscapes that still persist if you know how to look for them. We managed to successfully avoid surly geese, and ended up at the site for a brief walk around.

Wednesday, students spent half of the day with Dr Marit Munson, who kindly agreed to give our students a crash course on the material culture we will be encountering on the site. The rest of the day, James took the students out on site to learn how to construct sketch maps of an area using compasses and pacing to estimate distance. We were going to run out and buy compasses, but this is the 21st century, and if you have a smartphone, you have a compass!

Dr Marit Munson, lecturing on historic artifact types.
Dr Marit Munson, lecturing on historic artifact types.

Today, we decided to see how much we could fit in before the projected rain, so we met on site and divided into smaller groups. Some teams worked on clearing up the site from the winter, and others worked on their sketch maps. It started drizzling a bit, but we persevered and the site is looking fantastic for Monday!

Our crew this year is amazing, they not only managed to demolish the backdirt piles, they raked, and we managed a clean trowel back for most of the site as well. We are so pleased, and it means we will be able to dive right in on Monday.

Here are a few candid snaps from our day:

Attack the backdirt pile that 2017 us put on the part of the site we need to excavate this year (d'oh!)!
Dan, Brooke, Mary, Collette, Nic, Charlotte, Emma and Danny (l-r) attack the backdirt pile that 2017 us put on the part of the site we need to excavate this year (d’oh!)!
Dan is a designated rock-monster!
Dan is a designated rock-monster!  (Everyone is laughing because someone said “Welcome to the Gun Show”.)
Mapping is serious business! (clockwise from lower left) Anthony, Joel, Stephanie, Caedda and Sarah.
Mapping is serious business! (clockwise from lower left) Anthony, (most of) Joel, Stephanie, Caedda and Sarah.
Also we have intrepid mappers Wayne and Katie!
Also we have intrepid mappers Wayne and Katie!
James helping with the sketch maps.
James helping with the sketch maps.

Tomorrow looks like rain, so we are going to spend the morning in the lab processing our finds from today, and also learning about the Standards and Guidelines for Consultant Archaeologists.

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