Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 11: Good Weather, Good Fun, Good Finds

After not having school yesterday, because of the Victoria Day May long weekend, the field school troop was eager, excited, and pumped up to start again today!

The weather? It was in their favour.
The uncovered artifacts? There were almost too many. (Keyword: "almost", there can never be too many.)
The pleasure of visitors? Naturally.
Nature? Three deer, one squirrel, and the typical number of crazy robins (who always seem to cross the street with the worst timing).
Time? Too fast!

The visitors that the school had today were the lovely Kaylen Riedlinger, and her brother Jeff Riedlinger. Kaylen is from the 2009 field school alumnus (and therefore went to Capilano University) and a shining star in the laboratory, who has so kindly offered to help out a little bit again this year. Jeff also went to Capilano University, and is currently the bass guitarist for the band Sam Bradley. Kaylen and Jeff came for a tour this afternoon, lead by Bob, which was perfect because the light sprinkle of rain had at that point become a distant memory.

Now, you are probably thinking "What on Earth is Jessica talking about? What artifacts were uncovered?" Well, dear reader, yes, we did hit the jackpot last week in almost every excavation unit, but most specifically Bora and Paul's plot. Today the school, once again, had the pleasure of Tin Can Guy's (aka Spencer Kitson. See last Thursday's entry.) presence, and he took over excavating the jackpot unit whilst Bora and Paul worked on their individual projects.

Tin Can Guy found some pretty important artifacts. The first was a can with a paper label attached! This paper label seems to be significant, as Spencer had said that it was the first can found to have one attached in the Seymour Valley. The can (pictured below) is thought to have contained dehydrated milk, and it has French and English writing on it that will hopefully be beneficial for diagnostic purposes.
Front of Can:

Back of Can:

The second was a coverall/overall button (pictured below) found in an old tobacco container. The writing on the button says "Carhartts Overalls & Gloves" with an indent of a heart and what appears to be a picture of a train. Hopefully the name of the company will provide some clue as to how old this artifact is. *EDIT: Special thanks to Tad McIlwraith for finding the wikipedia site on Carhartts! Yes, what I had originally misread as "Carsartts" was falsified upon further inspection of the photos with the handy zoom option.*

The third discovery of Tin Can Guy's that will be mentioned is a fully intact sealed bottle (pictured below), that appears to have been warped, and contains a mystery liquid. When the bottle was lightly jiggled there were many small bubbles that made it seem as if it were carbonated. Carbonation is very unlikely, and it probably just contains muddy rain water that seeped in.

Aside from Spencer's adventures, there were other artifacts found today. Nadia found 3.87 bottles (this blog is counting the bottle fragments as .87). See the picture below! The clear bottle that Nadia found has very odd markings that are presumed to have indicated the liquid level in the bottle. She also found a can-opening piece: the key. Verena, after working around so many deeply rooted roots, found pieces to what Bob thinks is a medicine bottle.

Can Opener Piece:

As all of these lovely forest-mates are uncovering things left, right and centre, yours truly discovered a family of deer investigating the area near the dig site. Perhaps some of you folks from far away would like a picture, so check out the one below of the mother and her fawn.

Other activities that happened today included Simon and Max adventuring off to investigate the mystery chair. Bora did some hillside surveying with Sean who found some window glass, while Suzannah and Andy examined the hillside cabin. Anja worked hard looking into the mystery depression, and then assisted Paul with the uncovering of his mystery wooden plank structure (pictured below).

Rikki worked on collecting her soil samples in the potential garden plot (see picture below).

Brittaney, Nadia, Andrea, Verena, Sonya, and Spencer worked mainly at the excavation area from last week. I also excavated in my unit, in between running around documenting artifacts, filling out paper work, hunting deer, and getting the inside story of what everyone else was up to. (Shamelessly, I have included a picture of myself while running from the tent to my unit! I found a can!)

Today went by so fast, and many of the students had mentioned, when it was time to leave, that they felt as if they had just arrived. What a fantastic day!


  1. I suspect hat button says Carhartts. According to Wikipedia, Carhartt was established in 1889. It remains a major work clothes company as a trip to Mark's Work Warehouse will confirm.


  2. Tad!

    Thank you for finding that information for me. I will make sure to point it out to the student who will be looking into this artifact as their project, in addition to Bob.

    This is really exciting.

    Have a great day :)

  3. I recall we found a similar artifact at the site when we excavated here a few years ago. We have many personal items recorded from previous years, including quite a few related to clothing (much more than other camps I've excavated in the valley), which lend support I think to my hypothesis that some Japanese continued to live here until WW II internment when they would have only been allowed to take one suitcase (thus leaving behind quite a bit of clothing and other personal items).
    Bob Muckle

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