Todays author, Carissa, back when the canola was much shorter.

Hello, greetings from the canola! I am a student from the University of Manitoba who has been fortunate enough to take part in the Blumenhof field school. For many years I have had a great deal of interest in archaeology and the field school offered a valuable opportunity to gain experience in the field. The experience thus far has been a positive one as I have learned to properly excavate a unit within the context of a professional research setting.

When I first began in June I began to dig within a unit that was, in my opinion, very difficult as it consisted largely of clay. However, as I learned, the absence of material artefacts is valuable in that it provides information on the stratigraphy of a site. Strangely the absence of numerous artefacts was as interesting as finding them because it was my first attempt at excavation. My second unit however was much more interesting in the appearance of artefacts such as ceramics, nails, and even a wood feature that unfortunately dried out to the point that the wood was beyond rescue. The one item that immediately springs to mind when I think of the digging I have done is several ceramic pieces that fit together. The ceramic is detailed by a beautiful purple print that may reflect its initial shape as a saucer, however my inexperience does not allow me to assume that it is in fact a saucer. I was surprised to find pieces that fit together so nicely and I am not the only one to find beautiful pieces. One thing that I know I will remember well after the field school is over is the amazing conversations we have amongst each other in the canola and the heat that we have collectively experienced for the last week. It is my hope that the rest of the excavation is accompanied by beautiful weather, more artefacts, and knowledge that will be shared with the wider community.

The purple ceramic found in Carissa's second unit.

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About the Author

Barry is the Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Village. While he does not consider himself to be a historian, he places a high value on the preservation and interpretation of the Mennonite and pioneer stories that help people of all ages understand and appreciate their heritage. Learn more about the MHV.

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