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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kids' First Dig

The first week of our Community Archaeology 2011 excavation at the Amak site is complete. And things have been going pretty darn well. We have already moved so much dirt that it is clear we will have to open up another excavation block. I already have another area of the site where there is a depression that might represent an old house pit picked out. We also plan on doing some test pitting in the immediate vicinity to find other sites and get a handle on the local geomorphology (where the beaches were and how all the local land forms were created).

It appears that the site was a temporary camp 3 to 4000 years ago, and we found a simple structure associated with this level. In the older levels around 5000 years old we are uncovering a huge pile of rocks whose function has us all a bit miffed at the moment. Next week we hope to get into the really old stuff at the bottom of the site.

But the highlight of the week for me was when Stuey and Nora visited the site with Jenny F last Thursday. They got to help daddy with the dig, and even do a little bit of their first ever excavation. Now they now exactly what daddy does all day during the summer. Their favorite job was returning everybody's buckets from the screen. Either Molly or I screen all the dirt from the excavation and after each bucket of dirt is screened it needs to be returned to the particular excavator to be filled again.

Photos: The landscape in front of the site is flat with bushes here and there and sort of reminds me of the planes of Africa - so I joked with Molly that the top photo is of her with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background (complete with snow). The second and third photos are of Stuey and Nora experiencing their very first archaeological excavation. The fourth photo is of Leslie W taking notes, and the bottom photo is the excavation in progress late in the day on Friday. Patrick

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