Wednesday, 16 May 2012

May 14th: Survey Says...

Day 6 is back in the LSCR on the McKenzie Creek site doing complete surface surveys of the surrounding area. We're looking for any evidence of culture (remains of human activity) and flagging the items. This could be anything from broken glass and ceramic to bits of metal or wood. We also established a new site datum which is basically a zero point from which we can measure all other marks on the site's grid map.

Perched up this log is Evan, taking a close look at the ground below. Did she find something? We shall see. The surveying process is a tricky one, you're bound to find things in the most unlikely places.

Rebecca and Bob going over some mapping...note her contemplative hand to face position: very professional archaeologist body language. Andrew and Dini in the background there, going over field notes and enjoying a little break.

Some cedar planks that a tree has grown up between. When the Japanese occupied this area, there were very little trees as the site had been logged. The LSCR is mainly new growth trees from within the last hundred years. These boards are clear examples of cultural activity in this area, part of a plank road that once ran through this area.

It's very important to obey the signs. You could attempt to pass an archaeologist at work without tossing him/her at least a granola bar, but I wouldn't recommend it. We will also accept coffee and/or beer.

Survey crew hard at work: Andrew and Kitty make it look so easy. Looking for evidence of culture in the sunny forest, what a tough day. Note the protective gloves Andrew is sporting (you never know what you'll come across, could be broken first.)

We also find really interesting natural things on the survey as well, like an antler. Makes you wonder how the poor deer lost just the on the lookout for a one-antlered deer. Bob likes to joke that "nature is bad, culture is good" ...I think he means, train your eyes to look for things to do with people, not plants or animals...because we all know that nature is actually just as important as culture.

Ryan has found something; he's flagging it with some special tape so that we can find it easily later. What is it? Hard to see...most likely a piece of broken glass. It could be a treasure chest. Just kidding...that stuff is only in Indiana Jones movies. Did you know, most of the things archaeologists find are considered "trash"? It's true. But you know what they say about one person's trash...

Jasmin is carefully (look at that foot twist stride!) combing this area, flagging some artifacts. Looks like saw blades from the early 1900's. Careful, Jasmin, those blades look fairly rusty...I think there's a reason Bob suggested a Tetanus shot update.

We found an old boot. Surprisingly, leather boots preserve quite well. This one would be dating back to the early 1900's. (If that boot could talk.) It's interesting that often we have to dig down to find artifacts and then sometimes with the growth of the forest, things just make they're way to the this next one:

This bottle we found actually has a tree root growing through it. The forest doesn't let anything get in it's way, including cultural objects. A lot of the time trees that have been growing for the last hundred years will push up artifacts to ground level or move them around in the soil. 

Tomorrow we're going to be grid mapping and setting up the excavation units. That's right, the time to dig approaches...get out your trowels, guys.


  1. Wish I could explain what is going on with my feet... clearly I am super agile.... :)