The day began as usual. We arrived at the site without any hindrances, bucketed water out of the main block, and gathered our necessary supplies. Coffee was brewing and we were ready to get to work!
Sami, Lelia, and I continued taking down Level 3 of Unit 15. I was excited to be assigned as Unit Leader this week. The process continued, at first, as the other levels had: scraping the walls while trying to keep them from bowing or getting cut in, shoveling out most of the dirt from the level while cutting and removing roots ranging from fine threads to 4 cm, and when getting low enough, troweling the final layers of dirt. However, this level had a surprise in store for us.
We were supposed to be taking Level 3 down to be even with the floor of Unit 12, the one next to ours, or to a color change in the soil. There was a potential feature in Unit 12 that Dr. White wanted to see if it continued into our unit, Unit 15. (As it turned out, if it was a feature, it didn’t extend very far into our unit.) I asked Dr. White to come check on my progress to see if I was at the depth he wanted. He borrowed my shovel to show me where to stop and as he slid the shovel along the floor, he hit something. Getting down to investigate further using his trowel, Dr. White removed the surrounding soil to reveal a Yadkin point!
Dr. Albert Goodyear happened to be visiting the site that day after lunch and he was very eager to remove the point. We waited until we had finished clearing out the remaining soil in the level and cleaning it up with our trowels. I found it was difficult to get the small piles of excess dirt out from around the point and the two quartz flakes near it. One of the flakes was so loose already it was no longer lodged in the soil and we just bagged it.
Sam showed me how to plot the point on our table and taught me how to measure its location in the block. After it was plotted and the level was finished, Dr. White removed the flag, set up a board with the information for the site and unit on it, and took photographs of the point in the soil. Sami, Lelia, and I helped by using fabric to shade the area from the sun to get better lighting. Once the point was removed, we all gathered around to look at it as Dr. White and Dr. Goodyear examined it. They hypothesized that the point was probably the largest Yadkin point to be found in South Carolina.
After the excitement of removing the point passed, we bagged it and moved along to finishing up at the site. However, our unit wasn’t the only one to yield an exciting find that day! Robert, Duvall, and James were continuing their work on the wall comprising Unit 14 and they found a Late Archaic point! Near the wall in the “downstairs,” Dr. White and Fletcher were clearing out back dirt to reopen a unit down there. Dr. White will be excavating some deep units in that part of the site to potentially reveal more about what is deeply buried there.
All-in-all, it was a very nice day! Points were found, coffee was consumed, and we took a short field trip to see the Broad River after lunch. Continuous rain over the past couple of weeks had brought sand from the river up into the land between it and our site. To think of the water rising that high up its banks and overflowing was astounding.
Unfortunately, that day would be our last day in the field for this semester. As the University continues to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, face-to-face instruction has been suspended. I am so sad our time in the field is being cut short, but I am grateful for the experience we had and for everything we’d learned so far. It was a really great group, we learned a lot and had a lot of fun, and our last day was beautiful with two amazing discoveries. I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience in the field!