Day 21: Final Assignments
It had to happen sooner or later, I suppose. Over the weekend, we all found ourselves facing the inevitable conclusion that the field school and our time together would soon be at an end. Dr. Dumas underscored this sentiment with the assignments that would carry us through the week.
Most of our units have been taken down to the sterile chalk bed, at which point artifacts start to run dry. The strings outlining our units have been severed. Nadine has begun to take down the balks that marked the boundaries of the units, exposing the last few artifacts. Now we have nothing but a gaping hole where once we had assiduous order.
For my part, I’m to finish taking my second unit down to the chalk bed in order to expose a feature. I have to punch through nearly a foot of dirt in the space of two days. To that end, I really picked up the pace today. I filled nine 5-gallon buckets and took three trips to the water screen. To give you some perspective, we’re usually lucky to manage one trip in any given day.
Also of interest, we’ve finally begun work on the barracks across the ravine. Rather, Ron and Brian have. They won’t have much time this season to do more than a glorified shovel test, but they’re already starting to find a few artifacts.
At the end of the workday, we took a trip to Gainesville, a small town about a half hour’s ride from the college. There, Dr. Tina Jones showed us around the town’s triangle (as opposed to a square), several churches and houses, and the historic graveyard. The Greek Revival architecture combines with the looming magnolia and cedar trees to give the town a subtle, yet tangible, personality.