This week I decided I would do something nice to make up for my many clumsy mistakes. I got Dr. White an apology cake that said “I am sorry for stepping on the walls,” because I am very clumsy and have stepped on a couple of walls this past semester.
When we got to the site we started as we usually do. First we started up the pump to get rid of the water and after it sucked out all the water we removed the tarp. After we removed the landscape fabric and plywood covering our unit (Unit 4).
Me, Sam, and Caroline were all working together. We were tasked with getting a flotation sample from the inner zone of the southeast half of Feature 12. Once that was done we screened the southeast half of the outer zone. After that we set up the photo board and photographed that half of Feature 12. Personally I really enjoyed cleaning up the unit for a picture because I find using the paint brush really satisfying. By the time we did all that we were done with the day so we placed landscape fabric in the feature and backfilled. Personally I am really proud of myself for not messing anything up this week.
DuVal, Robert, and Kate continued on the wall at Unit 13, where they found part of another point! And Ella worked on Feature 11 in Unit 6 directly behind us. She was doing very similar things to us except the feature she was working in had been started weeks before (and is much deeper).
Cleaning up went the same as it does every week. First we placed landscape fabric over any exposed features and then back filled, after that we placed landscape fabric in the units as well as plywood. Then we brought the tarp back over and covered the site up again until next week.
I would like to apologize for my lack of pictures: this week I got to into what I was doing and forgot to take any. As always this class is super fun and I cannot wait to get back out there next week.
It felt good to be back in the field after missing last week! Day 10 was a productive one that I spent working with DuVal and Rob excavating Unit 13, also known as the really cool wall of several features.
DuVal and I started the day by mapping out Feature 4, which is a pit that is full of fire-cracked rock. Since it is right next to Feature 3, which may have been a nut roasting pit, it is possible that this spot was where people made lithic tools and ate snacks together. Here is DuVal scraping extra soil out of the feature to show the rocks in more detail.
As you can see, the feature is on the very edge of our unit, so unfortunately we could not excavate it in its entirety, as we would have to begin a new unit to do so. I spent the morning mapping the artifacts out as they sat in the soil on graph paper. The soil that Duval is removing from the feature was put safely into a bag as a flotation sample, in which it will be pumped and filtered through water to harvest very small items. This can include wood, bone, and charcoal.
Most of our time in Unit 13 today was spent trowel scraping for artifacts, which we then plotted on our map of the unit. This method is done by taking a trowel, and removing the dirt in thin layers to reveal artifacts, and leaving them in their place to map them. Doing this method, Rob was able to find two different fragments of large Savannah River projectile points! This one is the lower half of one. You can see how large it is on the graph paper:
We also found a lot of flakes and small sherds (burned clay?) through screening the dirt removed from the Unit through a 1/4" screen.
We finished up our day by taking the unit down to an even 140 centimeters below datum -- the base of level 7. I'd consider this a day well spent!