Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Archaeology With and Without Digging

Today, Scott Hammerstedt took Richard, Kevin, and Adam Lane to Ft. Towson to learn the methods of archaeological geophysics. Each of the students will get to learn non-invasive archaeological techniques throughout the coming weeks, while looking for features such as the cholera hospital and cemetery at this historic site.  After a quick tutorial and some safety tips, Scott walked us on a control grid and mentally graded us with such scientific terms like "Not bad", "could be worse", and "When it's really bad, I'll let you know."  This afternoon, we gathered around the computer to download the practice grids at the pavilion to see how our results compared to Scott's expert work.

The rest of the group continued excavations at the regular site.  A new unit was opened in our continued attempts to expose the remainder of the house floor.  Shelby and Sara Bagley found an ancient drill made of stone.  It was probably used to drill holes, perhaps in leather or wood. 

Sarah Dumas and graduate supervisor Dawn Rutecki continued on their unit.  It was slow-going because of the valuable charcoal, which will tell us what happened in the structure we are digging up.  We have to be sure and protect them from being touched, so we don't contaminate potential samples for radiocarbon dating and wood species identification! 

The excavations in the structure are getting exciting, as we are close to exposing the entire boundaries!

Kevin Logan, Alice Barrett, Cory Rosas, Truet Hinson

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