Student Blog — The Art of Mapping

One of the activities the students need to complete over the field school is practicing various kinds of mapping activities. Here’s Fraser’s account of one of those exercises. — Kate

No archaeological site can be undertaken without careful reckoning of your location and relative bearings. Today, our team of four was tasked with mapping a set of phantom artifacts marked with numbered flags.

Team Kilo-Echo-Juliet-Foxtrot

After some detailed instruction from our fearless leader (thanks James!), we began by laying out a grid which corresponded with the artifact scatter. Erik’s sharp eyes quickly found a genuine artifact in our test area (nailed it!). Measuring by hand, and then digitally using the Total station instrument, we could quickly see the value of both methods and acknowledge the precision that using the Total station allowed us to achieve. It was also a good exercise in teamwork, a valuable tool for an archaeologist. When teams coalesce, there is a palpable change in the timber of activity. Experience varies, personalities differ, but when you collectively put your minds to a challenge, and your hearts into your team – the results are rewarding, and even magnificent! So was my experience with Erik, Kyla and Janet on the mapping exercise.

The Final Product (Draft) – The finished one looked even better, now filed!!

Our final drawing represented hours of toil, and I for one, was quite proud of it! The drawing is the visible production of our mutual support and encouragement, and only spurs us to keep learning and improving!

— Fraser Williston

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