Here’s Brooke’s account of our whirlwind interlude on Big Island. — Kate
We worked at Big Island for two days, heading there by boat, covered in bug spray and sunscreen. Our first day was spent attempting to find areas of archaeological potential by transecting the island to start a cultural landscape survey. It was a lot harder than we thought it would be to walk in a straight line across the island! The hiking was amazing, though, and the different ecological areas kept us distracted from how tired we were from hiking through the bush. Some of us even managed to reach the other end of the island and dip our feet into the water before heading back.
Our second day was a bit more successful. We split into three groups with one continuing the transects from the day before and the other two getting coordinates for the cairns (rock piles) and white pine stumps in the alvar at the centre of the island. We used total stations and theodolites to measure the distances from the datum points to the cairns, then measured their diameters and heights. We later used this data to map these cairns as points on a map of the island.