Unofficial Start of Fieldwork — Site Datum and Grid   Leave a comment

Today a small group met at the field site to establish the main datum and grid baseline. It was a near-perfect day, mostly sunny with big fluffy rain clouds floating overhead and a nice breeze in advance of a cold front. The river levels were low enough to allow for shore line excursions.

View to shore line

For those folks out there that know something about archaeology, they know all site excavations start with a grid of some fashion. For those new to archaeology, we use a grid to help us place ourselves in space, both horizontally and vertically. It is kind of like laying a big piece of graph paper down over the site, except we use rebar stakes and pin flags. There are a number of ways to establish grids and several different types of equipment we can use to assist us.

Emily Beahm and Kevin Smith, total station set up


We were fortunate today to have Dr. Kevin Smith, MTSU, and Emily Beahm, University of Georgia on site. They brought a total station and had our north and east baselines in before lunchtime. They even had enough time to spare to take readings for a baseline site topographic map! MCAP Field Assistants Joey Keasler and Kelly Ledford were instrumental to the process. Kelly held the prism/rod at each point. Joey was in charge of driving the rebar so they were flush with ground surface — we don’t want to lose any to the mowers! Our grid is all ready for the bucket auger survey to begin on Monday.

Left to right: Aaron Deter-Wolf (Tennessee Division of Archaeology), Kelly Ledford (MCAP field assistant), Joey Keasler (MCAP field assistant)

Ryan Robinson (MCAP Geoarchaeologist) and Shannon Hodge (MTSU, MCAP Bioarchaeologist) were also on site to survey the area and plan for fieldwork. Check back next week when the field school students will start daily updates from the field!






Happy Mother’s Day to all the working moms out there!


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