Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 21: Backfilling!

The students were split up today! Some worked in the rainy field, and others worked in the lab. Yes, the fieldlings managed to erase almost every trace of the school's presence, which means they did an excellent job and worked very hard.

Andrea and Nadia continued to excavate throughout the entire day, with Simon and Max who were elected to be their sifting slaves, because they kept finding funky things like a vasaline jar with a lid, bottles, a leather boot, and cans. The tree that the ladies were excavating around seemed to contain a never ending supply of artifacts around the roots on the east side. Around 100, in addition to the items that were put in level bags (non-diagnostic metal, glass, leather, etc.). Bob was wondering why this could be, and thinks it is a possibility that the tree grew where a cabin wall had been, with the west side of the tree being on the outside of the cabin, and the east side being the inside of the cabin. Pictured below are the super excited Nadia and Andrea, next to the seemingly skeptical Paul.

The other fieldlings (Paul, Simon, Anja, Verena, Andy, and Bora) after backfilling, adventured off into every direction to remove the flagging tape from the artifacts and features near the McKenzie Creek site. Bora is pictured below, replacing a rock in it's unit.

Paul, Andy, and Anja took down the shelters and did most of the loading of the truck with equipment and supplies. Bob (pictured below) needed to make two trips to return all of the impedimenta back to the University.

It sounds to me like these hard workers might have to have a beer at the pub down the street on Friday, to marvel at the accomplishments of this week.

In the lab today were Sonya, Paul, Brittany, Rikki, Spencer, and myself.

Sonya (pictured below, and in a bit of a shock) kept up the good work of organizing all of the artifacts! She had to go through each form filled out, make sure that the information provided was accurate and consistent (eg: with measurements, descriptions, etc.), enter it onto her computer, tag the artifacts, and then put them in the case behind her until a more permanent location can be found.

Spencer (below) came to the lab today to help out Sonya and Brittany, and to look in the archives to satisfy his curiosity over several items found.

One of the items that he was looking into (pictured below) is a handle for a stove lid, and it has a very nice floral pattern around it.

Spencer saw that this handle resembles the one found in the 1917 Woodward Department Store Ltd. catalog (seen below), in the bottom left of the picture.

Brittany (below) focused on her project today too. She continues to go through the archives of the artifacts found in previous years, to amend any false information, and to provide as many facts where details are missing.

Rikki's interesting soil samples continue. She took soil samples from the Japanese rockery, the Japanese garden, and a few control areas last week and this week.

Today she worked on filtering the soil using a 4mm sifter, and a 0.8mm sifter, to rid herself of that pesky moss and other bits.

Afterward she inspected the soil for materials, such as shells which would be used to raise the pH of the gardens, using her microscope. Rikki thinks that if shell pieces are found in her control samples, then this might have a few explanations: perhaps the entire section from the rockery to the garden was indeed used as a garden (instead of just those two areas), or perhaps there was no garden at all.

See below for a microscopic photo! It looks like some shell bits are found in there...

Today Sean continued attacking his plethora of level bags (click here for last weeks explanation) with help from yours truly (me). Pictured below are some of the level bags which are now organized only by unit (and no longer by depth below surface in addition to unit).

Sean took those bags and separated different materials. After separating materials, he would then separate those materials into classes.
For example, in the picture below is all of the metal found in a particular unit's level bags. The metal was separated into nails, wire, can bases, can sides, and metal bits. The metal bits were further separated into sizes of >3cm, >2cm, and >1cm.

Sean then fills out a sheet for each unit, which requires him to weigh and count each of these materials. Eg: All aqua glass shards collected would be weighed, and then all clear glass shards, and so on. When he is finished he will have a classy document which shows how much, and what came from, certain excavation units to provide some context behind any artifacts also found in the same area.

Go team! Tomorrow will be a lab day for the entire class to clean equipment, work on projects, research artifacts, and learn about surveying and recording techniques for the exam. See you then!

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