Our last day of excavation has unfortunately come to a close, and we have backfill day to look forward to next time. However, the fact that we were wrapping up does not mean that this week's finds were not fruitful! I spent the day with Will, Rob, and DuVal excavating the "downstairs," or Unit 13. We made quite a bit of progress in taking the unit deeper. We took it down from Level 10 all the way to 16! Here is a picture to give you an idea of how much we took out of this unit:
Since we did not find any features on our way down, we mostly screened what we took out through 1/4" screen. What we found were mostly lithic artifacts, along with some burnt clay.
The reason we were so eager to take out so many levels in out last day, is because Dr. White believed there to be a Gilford component towards the bottom. It turns out that this was correct, because we were lucky to find this in our screen: one full Gilford point.
This find is significant because it shows that people were in this area hunting and living here in the Middle Archaic period. After finding mostly flakes and debitage, it was refreshing to find one whole artifact that is diagnostic like this point. This find was a great way to wrap up our day, and along with it the last day of excavation at the site. It will be a bit sad to cover up our unit, but students next semester will be opening it up again to discover more about this very interesting Guilford component!
All good things must come to an end, including field school. Today marks our last excavation day in the field, and though we are all sad to see it end we are proud of the work that we have accomplished over the semester!
In the morning, JJ and I continued our work on removing Feature 11. This feature is very large in both depth and width, so its removal has been a slow process. Its boundaries are also not very distinct, so going slowly in order to avoid removing parts of the matrix is even more important. Eventually, the excavation of Feature 11 turned into a one person job, so JJ went to help in Units 3 and 12 while I continued excavation and piece plotted any FCR I came across. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish with Feature 11 by the end of the day. Looks like that will be a job for next year’s group!
Unit 13 has come a long way since the beginning of the semester and is almost to ground level. There have been a lot of interesting artifacts from this unit and today was no different. By the end of the day, Katie, Robert, Duvall, and Will dug through several sterile levels before uncovering some flakes and a Guilford point.
JJ and Caroline spent the afternoon taking careful profiles of the north walls of Units 12 and 13. This included a description of the dirt, comprised of its composition, texture, and color according to the Munsell color chart. It is important to record this information now, as the units will be completely filled in by the end of next Friday.
Ben and Sam worked on wrapping up the excavation of Unit 4 by piece plotting any remaining artifacts. After completing this task, they backfilled Feature 12.
We had some extra time at the end of the day, so we began to start backfilling the block in order to cut down on our work next Friday. It is important to backfill features and units, as this is the best way to protect them until next spring. I was a little sad to see Feature 11 get covered up, but at least I no longer have to worry about collapsing its walls!
After that we covered the units with out big tarp and called it a day. Hopefully the nice weather will return next Friday!