The end of Field School 2023!

It’s hard to believe, but we have come to the end of our 2023 field school. It’s been a rewarding, frustrating, challenging, exciting experience, as always. The last day is often frantic, where we are trying to fit in as much as possible while the clock runs down.

We had some crew work on washing artifacts that had come in the last week, and that was almost completed, which is very nice for me to begin the analysis!

The crew posted to the Indigenous site had some open units to finish and record, and also pack and transport all the equipment out to the pickup location.

Today at BcGn-17, we had two open units to finish, one of which was capably and speedily done by Justyna and Susannah. Alyssa and Tim took everything out of the trailer and packed it neatly instead of the usual chaotic mishmash it turns into over the weeks! The rest of the team (Cierra, Abigail, Sebastian, Jada) dived back into our extension unit, placed to investigate the turning of the drain and widening into a larger aggregation of stones. Sebastian noted that the rocks seemed to end, and as we continued digging down it soon became apparent why…a blue tarp peeking out, which means that part of our new unit had been excavated in 2009. At the time of that excavation, they were doing a Stage 3 which is 1x1m units on a 5m grid. It is very hard to see what is going on with large features in a 1×1. Most likely that crew encountered the rocks and dug down through them before deciding they might be a feature and covering it for future work [insert sad trombone noises].

All too soon, it was time to wrap things up. So this will have to be a future investigation where we can continue to puzzle out where the drain ends and maybe figure out what it is draining. We have brick, mortar, charcoal, and a lot of artifacts in this area, which might suggest a destruction layer for a structure.

Data recording happening right down to the wire as Alyssa plans the unit we just finished while backfilling is going on.

At 12pm we reconvened at the Archaeology Centre, ate pizza and cake and then it was time to say goodbye.

Tired, full of pizza, and a bit sad to say goodbye!

James, Michael and I headed back out to finish backfilling BcGn-17. We also picked up the field equipment at BcGn-28.

With the last stakes pulled and backfilling complete, BcGn-17 is officially closed.

We then brushed the dirt off and tidied up as best we could because we had the pleasure of attending the graduation ceremony for the Archaeology Liaison trainees!

There are a couple student blog posts to come but overall things are shifting from excavation to analysis. I will try and pop in with any updates, and we do have plans to do some more excavation in October, so check in then. Thanks for following along with us this season!

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