Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 14: Bottle Breakdown

Happy Lab Day! The weekend is over, and the gang collected today in the laboratory which was really nice. Not that it matters, but it was raining so some people were pretty happy about staying inside. (Pretty please, don't tell Bob I said that!)

Today people worked on their projects in the warm classroom, and for those who can only do their work in the field, they assisted the others.

Nadia had some help with her researching of artifacts, which is going pretty well! (See her smiling below)

Tin Can Guy also had some help -- picking up glass pieces from the fluted/tapered catsup glass bottle he knocked over, ever so gracefully, this morning (see picture below for a frustrated face). Thankfully, after the bottle breakdown, Nadia was able to use her keen memory to help her find information on the bottle based on its diagnostics. Nadia found the site, linked to above, that provides an excellent and accurate sketch of the "catsup bottle" (on the right) that is identical to the one uncovered by the fieldschool. Because the bottle was documented in the 1922 bottle catalogue, but we don't when it began or ceased production yet.

Buttons (aka Sean) has the very important and seemingly tedious task, if it weren't for all the awesome people helping him, of organizing all the level bags. The level bags contain all of the items found that are not considered to be artifacts, but are still good for collecting information to document the context of the dig site, for example: glass shards, tin can bits, seeds, etc. Sean sorts the bags into two categories (in the future there will be more): surface level, and sub-surface level. He then opens the bags, cleans the objects, double checks for any artifacts that could have been level bagged in error, separates any relevant pieces (eg: tin can lids for minimum number of tin cans found on site), and finally he will separate all of the dried off pieces into categories (eg: leather bits, glass shards, metal shards, etc.). Seans helpers are photographed below! (Suzannah, Max, Verena, and Bora)

Anja's project is to create a report on the two depressions found at our McKenzie Creek site. In the past other students had excavated and produced a project for the "depression near the ofuro", but the physical copies have gone missing. So, instead of giving up, Anja has gone to the handy dandy students field notebooks!

Some of the legendary Muckle Field Notebook Laws are to create detailed daily entries that contain information such as:
-the unit coordinates where you are excavating
-the depth below surface
-sketches of artifacts found
-description of the survey method used
and very importantly, especially in Anja's case, any artifacts found (and their artifact numbers)

Anja will figure out, through the fieldnotes, what artifacts were collected near the depressions by the students who created the lost report, along with any other significant details. The second depression is the "outhouse depression", and there was never a project assigned on it in the past, but the area was excavated, so Anja went to the two students field notebooks who dug in that area to see what other information can be gathered. Essentially, Anja is trying to create an itemized list of artifacts from these two areas. (Anja, pictured below was too blurry in my other photo of her, so I am posting this one!)

The day zoomed by again, and we will be back in the field until Friday. Until tomorrow!

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