The first day of the field school was definitely an experience. I was not entirely sure how to prepare or what to expect. We started out in the classroom and were given a lot of the background of the site. After we went through the general information we headed out to the site around 10 am. Once we arrived at the site Dr. White gave us a tour of the area.
He first pointed out a quartz point that had been found in the trail that the trucks drive through that he had flagged (seriously hoping I'm not the one to step on it). We then moved to the "downstairs," this was the lower area on the site where a profile was cut into the side of the woods by a bulldozer. When we arrived, this area was still covered by tarps so we did not do any work in the "downtairs" area the first day.
Next we made our way up to the "upstairs," which includes Units 3, 4, 5, and 6. These units had been lined and refilled with dirt to preserve the area from the last semester.
After we finished the tour we began to put together the sifting screens in groups of two. My group had a bit of an issue since apparently our screen was not taken apart correctly last semester but we eventually figured it out! After we all got our screens put together we took a break for lunch. We went to have lunch beside the Broad River which was a beautiful relaxing place to take a break! We came back from break to begin work on the "upstairs" area. Before we could start digging we had to rake off the vegetation that had grown over the site and find the nails to distinguish the corners of the units. Ben and I then mapped out where each point was and tagged the nails with the coordinates. After we defined the area we began to take out the soil that had refilled the area from last year.
I did not expect this to be that difficult, especially since the weather was so nice and cool but I was extremely sore the next day as were many of the other team members. We got most of the dirt out of the block but there is still a bit more left for day two.
After we had finished digging for the day we broke into two-member groups again to learn how to set up one meter by one meter and one meter by two meter units. In theory this seems very simple but to be very precise with the measurements was a bit more painstaking than I expected. This concluded our first day and we packed up our tools and got ready to head out. I am very excited for the future work and hands on experiences ahead in this course!