One very important aspect about archaeology is being able to connect and communicate your research with the community. Archaeologists do not just openly locate sites and begin digging holes! The first step in excavation is sharing your research methodologies with the community so that you can gather support and understanding for the excavation goals that are planned under the project. Ultimately before being able to place your trowel into the ground, all permissions have to be granted. To create these key connections and network, the archaeologist must effectively communicate their research plan and goals about how the project is important to anthropology and to the greater community.
Today the board of the Archaeological Research Trust (ART), the landowner and family, and other visitors came out to the field site to learn more about Dr. White’s research and more about the Broad River Archaeological Field School being conducted this Spring. Communicating with the community always makes me nervous because you must be on your P's and Q's. Everything communicated about archaeology must be perfect! One wrong or researched answer could lead towards disinterest within the project which would negatively affect Dr. White. I do not want that! The Board members would all be visiting along with the property owner’s family, which means that they will have a lot of questions about the field school and archaeology.
We arrived at the site around 9:00 am to prepare the site for further excavation. Our goals included using trowels only, working cautiously, and hopefully closing at Level 8. For Unit 6, the opening measurements averaged around 96 cmbd (centimeters below datum), which meant that Kate and I did not have too much farther down to go. As we continued excavating, every time we come across an artifact we must mark it with flagging tape. Recording the location through piece-plotting is very important so that the artifacts can be mapped in situ and then logged as an FS number. By continuously doing this process it allows for Dr. White to be able to make inferences and theories based off the spatial analysis of how the artifacts are discovered.
Our guests began arriving around 10:30 am and continued to arrive well after 11:00 am. It was very weird having more than 30 people observing our work because of the constant thought of how I did not want to mess up.
The ART board members were very fascinated in the types of artifacts that we were finding. Since we were answering questions and not used to a lot of people being around, I felt as if Unit 6 did not get as much done as we usually do because of all the excitement from the ART board.
As Unit 6 goes down farther, we're finding more fire-cracked rock (FCR). Another aspect to note is how the lithic flakes and FCR we're finding seem to be getting bigger. That makes me very excited to see what else may be found within the next couple of field days. I do hope that we can get enough completed before the end of the semester.