After a couple of days of rain and cooler weather, the sun came out in full force today. One thing that we as archaeologists have to deal with is the often unpredictable weather. A little bit of rain can make the earth softer and easier to dig with our trowels, but a lot of rain can make things muddy and make it hard to pick out artifacts from the mess. And, as much as we enjoy a sunny day, the sun can bake the earth hard making it almost impossible to cut with our trowels. The weather is a major factor when working on an outdoors archaeological site.
Kayleigh on day one, measuring the depth of her unit.
Today was a very warm and sunny day, which made opening up some new units a bit more difficult. A handful of students have completed the excavating, mapping, and initial deciphering of their first 1mx1m units and are now continuing to excavate in other areas. Determining when a unit is done includes looking for culturally sterile soil and patterns in the artifacts, or lack there of, which might indicate there is nothing more of significance deeper below the soil in that unit. Not all units will be dug to the same depth, and must each be considered on an individual basis.
As everyone starts to get the hang of basic excavation techniques, we are starting to be able to look at the archaeological site in a more critical way in order to gain new information about the people who once lived here.