We were greeted today with water-free units and some animals that had taken up residence under the tarps. After safely evacuating a family of mice and handling a worm snake that had made its way into the excavation block, we were ready to start Day 6 of our dig.
We pretty much kept to the same tasks as last week. In Unit 13, DuVal and I continued to carefully excavate in natural levels. By the end of Level 1 we had uncovered a fair amount of sherds, flakes, and fire-cracked rock. This isn’t surprising considering that we are digging over a known feature, and we are hopeful that more artifacts will continue to appear as we move closer to the feature. After taking depths and finishing the Level 1 paper work, we carefully continued into level 2 where we stopped for the day.
This unit has been a bit tricky, as its location means that we must dig very carefully to keep the wall from collapsing. The shape of the unit changes somewhat as we go further down thanks to overhanging dirt, but through careful paper work and troweling we have managed to avoid any disasters. If I have learned one thing from this unit it is the importance of field notes!
There was very exciting news out of unit 5, where JJ and Katie continued their piece-plotting. Not only did they completely uncover Sam’s rock, but the other rock in Unit 5 was revealed to be what looks like a stone axe head! We were lucky to be able to observe this artifact in situ, and its excellent condition makes it a great complement to the other artifacts collected this semester.
Over in Unit 3, Caroline and Sam continued their excavation work starting from about 40 cm below datum. Carefully shoveling instead of trowelling, they made it to the end of the plowzone by the end of the day and had recovered some interesting plain and punctate pottery.
Ben and Robert continued to excavate Unit 12. This unit has produced lots of decorated pottery sherds, and today was no different! They finished up zone 2 and began to work on zone 3 (below plowzone), where they started piece-plotting.
Today’s work marked the halfway point of our fieldwork, and it was a very productive day at that. (It isn’t everyday that you find a stone axe!) Hopefully the good luck and warm weather will continue for the remainder of the semester.