Suddenly, a site!

It’s the end of week 1 of the field school and things are coming together nicely. Today really felt like we switched over into a cohesive group and started to get this site underway. In the morning we had some crew members collect the flags from our pedestrian survey. They have been mapped in and the artifacts collected and bagged for the lab so we don’t need the flags any more — they are just getting in the way!

OA1 is still quite mucky, but Mel and crew jumped in this morning to construct a canal to direct the collected water down the slope and away from our excavation.

We are still working on draining OA1, hopefully the warm and dry weather forecasted will allow it to dry out so we can get back to working on that area in a few days. So until that happens, we decided to open up some 2x2m units in a checkerboard pattern on the other half of the site. Some are overlying units previously excavated in 2009 where there was wall segments or cedar planking. By relocating those, we can then decide where we want to place additional units to understand what is happening with this structure. At the moment, we aren’t sure what is inside and what is outside, or even if this is one structure!

Kyla, Michelle and Kelsey working on taking the top 10cm from their 2×2.

One puzzle is the linear feature we are tracking seems to be quite enormous to be an improved log cabin, but until we actually confirm it is a wall we don’t quite know what is going on with that yet.

Mel starting her group’s unit, hopefully the cedar planks previously found in 2009 are in this space!

We were joined today by Grant, who is beginning an MSc with James in the fall. He has previous CRM experience, and also a lot of experience in geomatics, so he is a very useful addition to our crew.

It’s buzzing on site, a lot of small groups focused on their tasks!

We are starting to find more artifacts now that we are down from the disturbed top layer. They still are quite small and fragmented, but they will all contribute to our understanding of the site.

Sam and Janet taking the first 10cm layer from the top of their unit.
Alyssa and Cierra beginning their unit. The ground has already dried out a lot compared to the beginning of the week!

We also had a visit from the Archaeological Liaison trainees today. It was really nice to chat with them and show them how our excavation is going. For some of them, this was their first time on an archaeological site. They have another week of classroom learning, and then they will be out in the field working at another site nearby. We will be rotating people between sites so that our students and their students have a chance to work together, and to also see what different types of sites look like.

Busy site! It’s nice to see everyone sorting into smaller task groups and working out what needs to be done.

And finally, Fraser brought a drone today and contributed this photograph, where you can really see our site starting to take shape!

The day felt like it whizzed by. We ended a little early in order to give the field directors a chance to review how the week’s work has gone. It was a great first week, our team is starting to gel, and we are looking forward to getting back to it on Monday!