Student Blog — Field School Reflections

Here’s a post by Cierra sharing her field school experience. It has been wonderful to see how everyone developed their skills over the month and really came through in the end! — Kate

When I signed up to take this course, I was both excited and nervous. Excited because I have been wanting to participate in a field school for a while now, and nervous because I had no idea what it would be like and who else would be there. However, within a few days of class, all of my nervousness was gone and only the excitement remained. Even though it was difficult and tiring work at times, I looked forward to going into the field every day.

One of the things I did that I will remember the most was getting to excavate a 2×2 unit for the first time. I really enjoyed it because Alyssa and I worked on the same one for about three days, and it was nice to see the progress we had made on our own with the new skills we had learned. We also found some interesting artifacts, most notably the bowl of a spoon. It was one of the first larger finds in the unit, and honestly I had never been so excited to see half of a rusty spoon in my life.

A particularly pretty piece of ceramic Alyssa and
I found in our first 2×2.
Ceramic from a different unit, which I found very interesting because of its green and pink pattern as opposed to the more common blue decoration.
The bowl of a spoon, a very exciting find!

I also got to excavate a unit at the Indigenous site Kiiktanong Mash’iing, which is an opportunity that I am incredibly grateful for. It was really interesting to see the differences between Indigenous pottery and the ceramics we found at the historical site, and I learned a lot about how to identify the pottery from many people at that site. Additionally, up to that point I had not found any faunal remains in any of the units I had dug in previously, and as a forensic anthropology student, I was pretty disappointed. I did however find many faunal remains in the 1×1 unit I excavated with Erik at this site, and I enjoyed putting my bone identifying skills to the test whenever they would show up in the screen.

The last two days of the field school were bittersweet. Everyone at BcGn-17 worked together to quickly excavate a unit that was right next to one that had part of a wall in it. I knew we would be unable to discover the full extent of the wall, but I still had a lot of fun working together as a team, and it was really cool to see how much progress we could all make in one day. We found a lot of really interesting artifacts in that unit as well, and even though we ended up being unable to see the rest of the wall due to previous excavation, it was still satisfying to know that it did continue, and that we had found an important cultural feature at the site.

Most of the artifacts that were found in the unit we excavated at BcGn-17 during the last two days of the field school.

While I learned many valuable archaeological skills that I am certain I will carry with me to my future studies, I think that it is very important that I mention how everyone that I worked with positively shaped my experience. The field school was so enjoyable to me because of all of the people who were a part of it. I am typically very quiet and often keep to myself, but everyone was so welcoming, and it allowed me to really come out of my shell. From excavation to laser tag, I always felt as if I was a part of the group. I am very glad that I met and got to work with you all!

Overall, this field school was a very positive experience that I will never forget, and I am excited to carry the skills I learned with me to my future endeavours.

— Cierra Jenkins

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *