Penultimate Day!

It’s hard to believe that today was the second last day of the 2023 field school. The time truly has flown by, and I know that James, Michael, and I will miss seeing everyone’s faces next week!

Today was the last full day of excavation and we had several goals to accomplish.

At the Indigenous site, open units in the butterfly monitoring area needed to be finished and backfilled, and some new units were opened and finished in another part of the site outside the butterfly area. These have told us that the site is quite extensive and we look forward to working there in upcoming seasons (despite the horrendous poison ivy).

We had several visitors today, Tom Meulendyk from University of Toronto Scarborough came with some GPR equipment to see if we could determine the extent of the drain and maybe get a sense where a possible structure is located in the unexcavated areas of our site!

Dr Lisa Janz (UTSC) came to site with one of her PhD students Adiyasuren Molor (McMaster). Chief Mowat from Alderville First Nation visited our sites today as well as gave a presentation to the Archaeological Liaison trainees on wampum belts. Dr Laure Dubreuil from Trent’s Department of Anthropology came (bearing cake!) with Yumi Pedoe, our Trent Anthropology Graduate Program Academic Administrative Assistant.

Tom explaining how the GPR unit works. Note the unit he is standing on is the one we opened this morning!

Our big goal at BcGn-17 was to finish the open units and get the new 2×2 completed in one day. It was a bit challenging at first but then everything started to come together and we had a nice system in place to deal with screening the excavated material.

Like a well-oiled machine we had the coordination of shovellers, bucket transport and screeners!

By the end of the day we had finished the open units (apart from some paperwork), and confirmed that the rock pile did extend into the new unit, and not only that, it still continued to widen. Sheet metal, ceramic, animal bone, glass, nails, charcoal, bricks, and mortar are all pushed onto and into these rocks, which is maybe answering one question but posing several more!

We even managed to get to the point where we could do some trowelling back to expose the rock feature.

How many archaeologists can a 2×2 hold?

We didn’t quite finish it completely, but I am so proud of the crew today, they really came together and had a chance to demonstrate everything they have learned over the last four weeks.

Tomorrow morning we will focus on tidying any loose ends and then it will be time to close up the sites for the season!

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