Tuesday, May 29, 2007

By Mercedes Harrold

This morning we began with a lecture about the procedure for our unit excavations. Up until this point we have been digging 50cm by 50cm shovel tes
ts and today we are going to start 2 meters by 1 meter units to check out possible features we found earlier during our shovel testing. Our math skills, learned many years earlier (and I thought long gone) would now be used again: the good old Pythagorean Theorem. We use the theorem to figure out the hypotenuse, or diagonal dimensions of the excavation unit. This ensures that our excavation unit is perfectly square and not rhombus in shape. We also have the total station to make sure the corners of our unit, our northings and eastings on our site grid, are correct.

Right before lunch, Erin and Juan continued their shovel test by the Martin house. Unfortunately Mary and my shovel test that looked promising on Friday had been bombarded by fire ants. Instead of finishing it today, Jennifer and I prepared for the water screenin
g by carrying the screens-the ¼ and 1/16th inch screens down to the old pool, where we will be screening the soil from the units.

Just before lunch we began water screening a large pile of soil left in the woods from the earlier excavations. We wanted to use this soil as back fill for our excavation units. We had been told the soil had previously been screened, but we wanted to test it to make sure. Paul, Jennifer, Michael, Evan and I took the hoses and screened the dirt through the ¼ screen just to get a feel of the water screening process. After lunch we began the real water screening on our first one by two meter unit, excavated by Michael, Evan, and Jennifer. Two of them dig at a time, while one screens with me because today I was the FS Tsarina….or the mistress of the field specimen empire. Pretty nifty, huh? I am in charge of keeping track of all of the soil that is screened out of the excavation units.

We finished screening level one of their excavation unit and began to put away our dig gear for the day. We look forward to opening up more units in the next few days and seeing what the earth is holding as well as finding more pottery from the Apalachee Indians or maybe even remnants from Hernando de Soto's expedition