Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Posted by Erin Bailey

Our first quiz today got me thinking about the questions we will likely hear from visitors and others interested in our research at the site. After today's inspiring events, I feel I will soon be able to draw on personal experiences to answer them.

We continued digging shovel tests (pictured to right) to asses the site for evidence of past human activity. I joined the wonderful Juan Riera and after only eight centimeters (about 3 inches), we uncovered what might be a potential feature. It is marked by an immediate shift from grayish sand to a rich, red daub or clay like material used to cover the structures. Louis Tesar, another archaeologist with Bureau was on hand to assist with identifying significant items. Fortunately he reminded me of the importance of leaving things in context. (It is natural to extract something for closer inspection and to bag it up, but we are not so much collecting artifacts as we are collecting information.) The daub material could possible be a floor for a structure, something archaeologists call a feature. We left the feature in place until it could be opened up for further study once we have finished sampling the site with our shovel tests.

When Juan and I moved to our second unit of the day, our dig was again interrupted after uncovering yet another mass of clay, but this time, with a relatively modern pipeline intersecting it. At this time, we are awaiting Andrea's thoughts. It was beginning to rain, anyway, so I quickly drew a soil profile and headed inside. Hopefully this rain will persist so that testing the hard, dry soil will be easier when we resume work tomorrow.