This past Friday was our last doing any actual plotting or excavating. Units 4 and 6 finished piece-plotting their last artifacts and began to work on profiling their walls. I had done this the previous week on the Unit 1/2 profile after we removed the plywood protecting it.
Profiling is done to display the stratigraphy of the soil and any features that may be within each level as well as their relationship to the site. After being recruited to help with Unit 4’s east wall, Sam and I set about making a level line to measure the depth of each zone in the wall. After we cleaned up the wall with trowels and dustpans to prepare it for final photographing, we drew our profile.
Landscape fabric had been placed down already to protect the floor of the units from any further trampling. The fabric will aid in the reopening process when they come back in the future to carry on where we left off.
Soon after it was time for lunch and we discussed the next step of backfilling. Honestly, I thought would be more complex a process but it pretty much means you just put some dirt along the edges to keep the fabric down and then go nuts and get all that dirt you took out over the past few weeks back into the pit. We couldn’t fill it up too far as to disturb the ongoing plotting process in Unit 5 so we had a good 20 cm in and had to be reassigned to other jobs. Some of us went to help Jim and DuVal cut back the wall of the collapsed Unit 9 to aid in shoring up that unit. Others helped Unit 5 profile.
Once we were done with Unit 9, plywood was laid on the floor and we spread some landscape fabric down from above the profile wall. We set about filling in the top of Units 1/2 that now had been resealed by DuVal with some extensive carpentry. Unfortunately, part of this wall collapsed as we were putting dirt in it from above and so we had to go about dumping it a bit more carefully down into the unit. But by the end of the day most of Units 1/2 was filled in and Unit 9 was covered to be filled next time on our last day.
Upstairs, Units 4, 5 and 6 were filled to about halfway up from where they were. Next week it won’t take very long at all to fill the rest back in. Hopefully enough people will be able to help Dr. White with his ongoing excavation but for now its pretty much all finished for the semester.