Wednesday, 16 May 2012

May 16th: Ready...Set...DIG!

Day 8 ...first of the excavations got started and we found about a dozen artifacts already. In fact, everyone was so excited about discovering things during the excavations that Bob had to nearly physically pull them out of their units for lunch. They all ate with lightning speed as all were anxious to return to the dirt in hopes of finding more items. I'm willing to bet that if allowed, everyone would've stayed late today just to keep digging. Newsflash: archaeology is really fun. Some of the stuff we found today (subsurface): beer bottles, a medicine bottle, broken lantern glass, a button, cans, a Japanese rice bowl fragment, and a butchered mammal bone. There was also a small fragment of what looks like a piece of British pottery, but we won't know for sure until we do some further analysis.

Look at the smiles on these guys' faces: Willow and Spencer found an old boot. They didn't even need to excavate, I was sitting near the surface of the ground.

Ryan and Alexis digging away. Their tools of choice? Trowel and whisk broom. Any sediments that they scoop up go into that bucket and then sifted to look for small artifacts.

Andrew here at the sifter. Making sure nothing goes unnoticed as even tiny shards of glass or ceramic can be useful in learning about the past. For example today we found a button from a piece of clothing, small enough to miss by eye but would be caught in the sifter.

So the thing is, if you were to just walk by a bunch of trees and stumps in the forest, you might not think there would be anything of interest buried underneath them. But behold: the mighty archaeologists know what to look for.

Ryan and Alexis getting a closer look at some of the sediments from their excavation unit. They're keeping an eye out for small shards of glass and little artifacts. 

Andrew getting right down into the dirt...looks as though he may have found something of interest here. Apparently under tree roots is actually a fairly common place to find artifacts.

Dig, dig, sift. Dig, dig, sift. Repeat. I can't help but be so grateful of the weather. Doing all this dirt digging would be ten times harder for the crew in the rain. (Inevitable, I know.) We found lots of little pieces of things while sifting sediments including window glass, as well as fragments of bottle glass, ceramics and metal. These pieces get put into what we call level bags so we can have a closer look at them in the lab.

It appears Meghan, Jasmin and Kitty lucked out and were assigned a sunny spot to excavate.

Here Evan and Meghan have found some intact bottles and a butchered mammal bone. I recall Bob saying he has never found an animal bone that has been modified by humans before at this site. 

Are those knee pads being used in that excavation unit?! I hear the best archaeologists rely only on their knees for support while digging. I might also point out once again the smiles on everyone's faces. Yes, we love what we do.

Photo of the day goes to Andrew. Here he's pretending to take a sip from a BC Breweries beer bottle dating back to the early 1900's. The look on Kitty's face is priceless.

Lindsay, Dini and myself were working in the lab today on our projects...we'll be out in the field again tomorrow for the second day of excavations. 

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