Monday multiplication

I need to take some photographs of the artifacts of the day for today, so look for a catch-up post on that tomorrow!

Today started a new phase of our field school, as the archaeological liaison trainees started things up at their site BcGn-28 for their two weeks of excavation. Michael will be overseeing things there, and he took some of the field school students with previous experience to assist. The goal is to cycle members of the crew between sites so they have a chance to work on an Indigenous site as well as the historical site. What this meant today was that poor James was the point person ferrying equipment and forms between sites as necessary!

We decided to stake in four new units at the north end of our excavations at BcGn-17. We still haven’t found any conclusive evidence of a structure, nor have we found a privy or a proper midden or garbage dump for the site as of yet. We do have some features visible in some of the 2×2 units but no idea what is happening around those. It is very difficult with the checkerboard pattern to determine the relationship of features to surrounding units. The advantage of the checkerboard style excavation is that we can see a larger extent for the same effort, but the downside is that we have a very imperfect idea of how the bits we can see relate to each other. We are chasing a structure, and now that we are pretty sure the “wall” is actually a drain, we are very eager to know (a) what the drain is draining, and (b) where the heck is the log cabin/privy/midden for the site?!

Lots going on today–opening new units, cleaning units for recording, and continuing excavation of open units.

Of course, as Muphy’s Law operates especially on archaeological sites, the new units we wanted to open were located smack dab in the middle of backdirt piles, so the first order of business was shovelling the overburden back to make room. We then staked out the new units using our friend the Pythagorean theorem (it really is useful, your math teacher was right!).

While the new units were being opened, we still had a lot of cleaning and mapping/planning of the open units going on as well. I didn’t have a chance to take a lot of photographs because I was the field director on site for most of the day and the questions kept me hopping!

James showing Josh how to plan a unit.

With three (maybe four!) new units opened up, this is a bit ambitious as we only have a maximum of about 7 days left for excavation, assuming we don’t have any rain days. Our crew is willing though, and they are getting faster at digging every day so I think we can pull it off. Even if we don’t find the structure this season, at least we will know where it isn’t!

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