Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 11, Week 2

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A rainy day caused us to spend all of our time in the lab today, screening and sorting the many bags of soil and artifacts we've collected over the course of the dig. We all got the chance to become more acquainted with how to deal with the soil (it seems almost impossible to wash all the mud out sometimes) and a few more artifacts were recovered. Alex found an iron hook that may have come from a French soldier's uniform (an exciting find) and Nadine found another pipe stem.
Alex and Lauren in the lab
Figuring out new and better ways to screen and dry our materials safely is an ongoing process. We water screened through most of the bags we've collected today, but I can't wait for them to dry so we can begin sorting!

While we ate lunch today, Dr. Dumas showed us some of the artifacts that were found during the 1980 excavation of Fort Tombecbe. One bag of artifacts was simply labeled "Indian Pottery," teaching us a lesson on provenience. Provenience is simply another word for context. In order for the artifacts we find to have any meaning we have to know exactly where they came from the site. A piece of pottery is just a piece of pottery if we don't where we found the piece or what other objects were found with it. We had our own small mix up at the lab today that was easily resolved because of careful record-taking.
Hopefully the weather will allow us to get back out into the field tomorrow. Everyone be safe in all the rain.


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