Today we had some really exciting finds! But to start Sam and I began by finishing up Unit 3 for this semester. We took it down to the base of the second plowzone and scraped and took a final picture of it. At this level we still found a few pieces of ceramic.
JJ and Ella continues their work in Unit 6 on Feature 11. They spent most of the day removing the matrix around the feature. While removing the matrix they did find a quartz projectile point and a biface in the edge of the feature.
In Unit 4 Ben scraped the unit for the picture and then began mapping Feature 12.
After finishing up in Unit 3 I moved down to Unit 13 to help Robert with paperwork while DuVal continues to excavate the unit and the features in it. The base of a large projectile point was found in the unit and an entire projectile point was also found! The point was in perfect condition! DuVal excavated the corner of Feature 4 that was exposed in Unit 13.
It's always hard to get back in the swing of things after a long break, but we didn’t let post-spring break lethargy slow us down this Friday! As usual, we began by removing the water that had collected in the units. It was colder out than it has been in the past few weeks so there weren’t many critters to contend with except one mouse that was slow in evacuating. We continued on with our work despite our new friend and accomplished quite a bit by the end of the day.
To begin the day, Sam and Caroline finished up their unit after reaching the end of the plow zone in Unit 3. After completing the necessary paperwork and taking pictures of the finished unit they split up to help in Units 4 and 13.
In the block, JJ and I continued our work on Unit 6, specifically the matrix around Feature 11. We started at about 110 centimeters below datum and slowly scraped our way down, stopping periodically to piece-plot uncovered artifacts. It was a slow process as the unit was filled with fire crack rock and flakes, but we managed to make it to about 120 centimeters below datum by the end of the day.
Ben began his work in Unit 4 by very carefully scraping the surface of the unit with a trowel. In removing all of the loose dirt, it becomes easier to see slight or pronounced color variations in the soil that could indicate a feature or other important aspects of the unit. This is an important first step, as these variations can be very difficult to see at times. After completing this task, Ben began piece-plotting any artifacts he came across and later worked with Sam to map out Feature 12.
Over in the wall section of the site, Robert and DuVal worked on excavating Unit 13, where they came across two diagnostic Savannah River points. One was partial and was missing the tip, but the other was quite large and complete. These points were found in situ, meaning they were found exactly as they had been left and were not disturbed by plows or other intruding forces. The fact that these artifacts were both diagnostic and found in situ makes them very valuable to our understanding of the site.
When 2:30 rolled around we packed everything up and covered the units (at record speed) with the big blue tarp, officially marking the end of another fun and successful field school day.
Today was yet another busy day at the site! As the halfway point as passed for the semester, we continued on in our search into the unknown with more fervor than ever! And with our renewed energy from Spring Break we continued to expand our analysis of the "upstairs" block of the site along with our continued work along the wall as well.
In Unit 6, Ella and myself started with the removal of the backdirt that was placed within Feature 11 to protect it over the course of Spring Break. After removing the backdirt, we carefully began excavating the matrix that surrounds the Feature within Unit 6. The matrix, consisting of the soil and material that is directly touching the feature, contained several artifacts consisting of flakes. We also were able to uncover not only a biface that was on the edge of the matrix and the feature itself, but also so a magnificent quartz point!
In Unit 4, Ben started by clearing away the remaining backdirt that was left while we worked around the unit to protect the floor. Then he cleaned away the tunnels that were created by bugs and worms since the last field season, allowing Dr. White to prepare the photo board and to determine the size and area that needed to excavated following the further exposure of Feature 12. Feature 12 itself contained several exposed cracked rocks that could have possibly been cracked through repeated heating in a fire pit, though we won't be able to further our thoughts on this until further excavation is completed. Ben and Sam then worked to map out the feature as well as bisect it, while also determining how to go about the excavation of the southwestern half of the feature.
Caroline, Robert, and DuVal continued excavation in Unit 13 along the wall, furthering our reaches into the past as we grow nearer to another exposed feature that could reveal more valuable information. While excavating around the removed feature (Feature 3) however, they were greeted by a two wonderful discoveries! First, they exposed the lower half of a broken spear point that still contained its haft, and then shortly later, they exposed a larger spear point that was completely intact! Dr. White was excited by these discoveries as well as the rest of the team!
The day ended with us refilling Feature 11 with back dirt, as well as removing the the three points that we uncovered. Leaving the site for yet another week as we prepare to return with more energy!