MCAP Field School, Week Five, Part I: More of the same   Leave a comment

Apologies for the lapse in posts. As I feared, 16+ hour days are starting to take their toll in Week 5. Lack of energy to blog is the result. As we near the end of the field season (2 more weeks to go after this week), the pace of excavations picks up and we have many more tasks to complete before we close down the site. Archaeologists are nothing if not avid note-takers, thus we have lots of in-the-field data to record via field notes, field forms, photographs, and maps. The students are excited to learn all of the aspects of fieldwork during this “apprentice-ship” phase.

The weather has been more than fantastic the entire season, and we have been fortunate to not have had a rain day yet. This week started on the wet side, and Monday promised to be a day of off-and-on rain. I was not willing to take a chance on the units getting wet/muddy, paperwork and equipment getting soaked, etc. I sent the word out on Sunday night that we would meet at the lab for a much-needed day of organization and artifact washing.

Monday was a complete success! Not only did we organize the archaeology teaching lab, but we were able to tackle our storage lab and the research lab. The students caught on to the concept of artifact washing quickly (which takes a bit of skill) and powered through a third of the artifact bags!

Washing artifacts in the MTSU Archaeology Teaching lab.

Tuesday we were back in the field continuing excavation of our units. Erin Floyd and Pam Hoffman completed excavation of Unit 3. We still have to map the wall profiles, but once that is done we can focus their attention and energies elsewhere. Every day we gather more information that will help us better understand the people that lived along the Cumberland River so long ago.

Erin working diligently to expose the top of the shell deposits.

Today (Wednesday) was more of the same. Schnitting, screening, photos, etc. A sense of urgency is starting to kick in as we all realize we have fewer and fewer days left on site. Kelly and Mimi are working in a 1 x 1 m column within Unit 1 to explore the dense shell deposits.

Mimi (left) and Kelly (right) excavate the shell deposits with trowels. To protect the walls and floor of the 1 x 1 column, they are perched on a 2 x 10 board.

Articulated/paired freshwater mussel identified during excavations.


Dewberries on the edge of the field.






Posted June 13, 2012 by drtmperes in Uncategorized

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