Here’s a dispatch from the field by Fraser, who is part of the well team (let’s call them the Wellies!) — Kate
Water is essential for our existence, but it can definitely impede an archaeological investigation. The ground is saturated, and the water table is high, making the conditions challenging. The muddy conditions may slow and complicate the excavation, but it doesn’t dampen the spirits of this group! Music drifts across the field as students and instructors work together to uncover the expected features. I worked at the well excavation today. Both Teika and Erik, experienced excavators, provided me with lots of encouragement and constructive criticism, and no sharp trowels were launched in my direction!
Shining soil, and using a trowel to gently excavate the areas around the well was a great practice in the monotony and detail-oriented nature of this work. This produced a not-tiny mound of soil that I was quite proud of!
In the main operation area, a lake had formed- there was more water than in the well!
Other teams continued to map surface artifacts, and most other people were engaged in careful excavation (of an endless supply of mud!). Kate found a fascinating article exploring wells as oft-ignored artifacts, and this information helps create a good intellectual framework for the work as we move forward (Thanks Kate!).
My back is definitely feeling the labour, but spirits continue to be high! Tired, dirty, these archaeologists are still smiling, and I am happy to be among them!!
— Fraser Williston