We arrived at the site around 8:45 a.m. and after several days our crew has developed its rhythm. We removed the thick plastic covering we use to cover our units: the previous week had been reasonably dry and this task was quickly accomplished.
So far, we have been working in our initial teams of three. Each group has been assigned its own 2m x 2m meter unit to excavate in levels. The first day was spent plotting our units and clearing the area. The second and third days we moved down two levels so that on February 3 our unit was ready to begin level 3, moving from 50 cm to 60 cm below datum. As we moved through our unit, several buckets screened revealed about a dozen potsherds and rocks, including one large piece of fire cracked rock.
About mid-morning we noticed the mottling that had appeared in the previous level was appearing in larger more linear arrangements. At the end of our third level it had become clear that we were looking at plow scars, indicating that the forest in which we stood had once been plowed for farm land. At 11:30 we took our break for lunch. By now I’ve worked out the right amount of food I need to be comfortably full for the afternoon. It’s about double what I brought for the first day. Also, as a bonus, we now have a coffee maker for the post lunch slump.
A little after noon we went back to work and wrapped up level three with a trowel scraping and routine paper work. We met with Dr. White and observed the differences in the plow scars for the “upstairs” and “downstairs” units. As our site contains active units on top of the hill as well as at the bottom we have designated the lower units to be the "downstairs." Dr. White advised us on our course of action and we began our first natural level, seeking to remove the lighter color sand of the plow scars and create a level that was uniform in its dark color, if uneven in depth. We wrapped up our fourth level shortly after two o’clock and so began the process of closing the site for the week.
After a routine day, we logged our artifacts and covered the units. Each day on site we work faster and uncover more artifacts and I find that before we have even arrived back in Columbia, I am excited for the progress to be made the next week as we work through our levels.