Holy Cow! Day 3 is already done at the Broad River Site in the Archaeological Field School! The morning started off with us removing what water had accumulated in the excavation block of the "Upstairs" of the site. The water wasn't too much but was just enough for us to spend a little bit more time on to ensure that we were able to properly continue.
As we continued our excavation at the site, Dr. White informed us that we would have some visitors today not only from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Heritage Trust, but also some students from a couple of local schools observing us work at the site.
While we were being observed, our class was split into two separate groups. One focusing on the piece-plotting of artifacts that were found in Unit 5 on Level 7, and the other focusing on the deepening of Unit 12 past the plowzone. Both process for each of these Units took up the majority of the time throughout the day.
Sifting and excavation continued throughout the day, as samples were taken not only of small fragments of broken pottery and flakes that were found in Unit 12, but also of pieces of burnt clay, debitage, and portions of charcoal that were found on Level 7 in Unit 5.
Debitage, which is all the material that is produced in the lithic and stone tool process that could range from flakes, shatter, debris, and even blades or rejects from the production process, was the main source of artifacts that were recovered from Level 7 of Unit 5 throughout the day. These individual pieces of debitage were "piece-plotted"; a method of placing the artifacts precisely within the unit along specified Northings and Eastings in relation to the site's datum. This in turn allows us to be able to see the spatial relationship that the multitude of artifacts have with one another across the various levels of the unit. These individual artifacts are then entered into the FS Log (Field Specimen Log) with the information surrounding its removal from the unit as well as it being plotted on a Excavation Unit Form, which contains several important notes about who was working on the particular unit, the exact Northing and Easting of each of the corners, as well as the beginning and ending depths of the unit.
Towards the end of the 3rd day of excavation, Dr. White also introduced us to what we were planning on doing in the "Downstairs" portion of the site, in which we will be crosscutting into the side of the exposed hill.
Closing for the day, one of our on site pros, Robert, who works for the DNR, showed our group some recreations of ancient tools that he himself had made as a way for us to better visualize what these remains may have gone into making, whether it be a fire tempered clay pot or a flaked projectile point that was later used for hunting in the local area on the Broad River.