Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day IV

Greetings from Fort Tombecbe, where "civilization and savagery met and the wilderness beheld the glory of France."

The first days of my first field experience have been a great one; the project family, the students and volunteers are knowledgable and hilarious.

Day four was spent in the dirt. When we arrived at the site this morning I had a full wheelbarrow of material from yesterday that I removed from a one meter by one meter unit excavated only about five centimeters deep. The water-screen was waiting for me.

Water screening is a process in which the dirt material dug out of the ground is placed on a screen and sifted through the mesh wire using water pressure to recover tiny pieces of chalk, brick, ceramic, metal, glass, bone, charcoal, clay pipe, bead, faience, etc. Today we used 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch screens to recover these tiny pieces of history. My wheelbarrow of dirt (half screened through the 1/4 inch mesh and half through the 1/8 inch mesh) yielded a gallon bag full of these little artifacts. In the westardly portion of the wall area particularly, we don't expect to find the same amount or type of artifacts that others would, as it is located outside of the fort walls. However, significant artifacts found include two pieces of triangular greenish-blue glass, bone (and part of a tooth), and red brick flecks.

 At lunch we inhaled our sandwiches just a few meters away from the bluff looking out over the beautiful Tombigbee River as we laughed playing the relentless Name Game.

After fighting off the daily food coma, I returned to my section in the wall area next to the "french drain" feature. I found a few more pieces of splintered bone, specks of red brick, and plenty of chalk as I was leveling out the unit with my trowel. Ron and Brian, two meters south of me, unearthed pieces of the wooden post once at the heart of Fort Tombecbe's palisade as they finished prepping the feature for mapping and photos. Awesome!

- Light Horse

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