Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 33: Last Day of the Field School

Today, Friday, the crazy class (pictured below) had their last round table meeting discussing the end results of the individual projects. They also handed in their field notebooks, a self evaluation, a peer evaluation, their final exam, and their reports.

Here's a quick update!

Nadia successfully found information on almost 20 different artifacts through contacting manufacturers, diagnostics, and research.
The main artifact to point out was the colgate toothpaste tube. Colgate gave us an updated date range for the manufacturing period of 1908 - 1920. It was actually one of the first toothpastes ever produced in a tube.
Also, the updated date range for the orange crush bottle is from 1923 to 1940.

Sonya documented just over 150 artifacts this year in her beautifully bound catalog. She included all of the diagnostic details, including measurements, photos, and the location where they were found.

Max collected data on the rock chair, which was composed of 19 pieces of granite cut stone. He was not asked to interpret the structure, but to compile data and sketches.

Sean went through each level bag found this year, looking for misfiled artifacts, and unnoticed context. Although he mostly went through mounds of glass or metal shards, he did find three artifacts: 3 boot clasps, a broken brown bottle that was able to be reconstructed, and a can opening key.

Suzannah excavated the Hillside Cabin, aka Moss Vegas. Within the area a stove damper (perhaps from around 1917 - 1950 when it was manufactured) was found, along with a door hinge, and a McClary lid. According to Carl Sparks, who visited us on June 7th, it could have been a stove or garbage can because McClary manufactured both. There was also the large rock formation which perhaps was used to level the cabin. The cabin seems to have fallen east, downhill, because that is where we found more large rocks and a large amount of window glass.

Simon was to find the total minimum number of bottles in the McKenzie Creek site. Recently he had adopted an additional project with Spencer which included attempting to find more diagnostics on the tin cans through different methods (some more triumphant than others). They have been successful with the can project, and have decided to work on it over the summer together with Andrea on their own time.

Brittany went over all previously collected artifacts (not including this years), to compile and correct any information, with the main objective being the creation of consistency in the description of artifacts for the whole region. Physically there were 884 artifacts in the field school's collection, but over 2000 have been recorded.

Bora surveyed the northern part of the western hillside, and produced a map which documented the features and artifacts that he found (including a piece of a shell).

Paul was to research into the wooden planks near the Japanese bathhouse. He mostly collected data. He found 3 different kinds/sizes of nails, grouped in 3 different areas, and he speculated as to why that was. He also found several bent nails bent to 90 degree angles, which caused him to think: when the loggers nailed into a board and accidentally caused the nail to bend slightly, they got frustrated and ended up just hammering the nail to be parallel (90 degrees) with the object.
Overall, the planks didn't have the same structure as the nearby road, and they were so unusually close to the bathhouse, with no artifacts found nearby indicated that it was a cabin.
It is a possibility that perhaps it was one giant feature with the bathhouse, but the Japanese hadn't built anything like that in the past so it seems unlikely.
The Burnaby Heritage/Village Museum has a reconstructed Japanese bathhouse from the 1920's that we compared ours to, which helps suggest that one giant feature is also unusual.
Another possibility is a theory of Spencer's, where he suggests that the feature was a mess hall with a canvas cover, which would explain the planks and the lack of roof.

Anja studied 2 depressions, with a third added to her plate later on. For the third depression, found inside were a strange collection of artifacts: buttons, a metal handle, and ceramics, and found 4 or 5 metal files. Anja looked into the shape and size of the files, which were classified as machine files used for scroll or ban saws that create curves in metal or wood.

Rikki did the soil samples for the "Japanese Garden" and the "Japanese Rockery". She created a huge quantity of micrographs, and collected raw data which was beneficial for making bar-graphs. The graphs helped her come to a three conclusions:
1-The Japanese Garden probably wasn't a garden according to her evidence, and there are no concrete evidence suggesting what it was.
2-The Japanese Rockery appears to have been used for a garden, based on the amount of shell and bone found (they are used to increase the pH of the soil).
3-Charcoal was found at every level she did tests on, in every area including the controls.
4-Rikki's pollen analysis/comparison was unsuccessful, because she found no pollen in her samples to compare to her control.

Andrea made a portfolio containing clear and detailed photographs of several artifacts, and had lots of fun figuring out different ways to capture different kinds of materials. For example, glass bottles were great items to photograph with a black background.

Verena made fantastic illustrations of 14 artifacts, which were all included in the final report. The detail required for the drawings turned out to be more time consuming than expected. Verena also helped draw maps for the final report, and they looked amazing!

Andy had prepared, compiled, and organized the final report under direction from Bob, which is now available through Bob (and you can leave a message on this blog, or email Bob if you are interested in a copy). The report is extremely informative and concise.

Near the end of the day Rikki presented Bob with a beautiful bowl (pictured below) that she made in her pottery class, which documents the names of the students in the class, Bob's name, and the year of the field school. Bob will include it in the Archaeology display in Capilano University! (Good job Rikki! Bob got misty eyed!)

By the way, a few of the field schoolers ended up successfully convincing Bob to go to the pub with them for a beer. Success! Pictured below is proof!

Thank you everyone for making the field school so much fun! The Seymour Valley Archaeology Project has now come to an end, and this is my last blog entry. I am fortunate that I had the opportunity to participate in this fantastic program, and that I had so much fun (rain, hail, or shine) working with a very extroverted, eclectic, and cheesy group of people.

Have a fantastic summer!

-Jessica Clayton

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.