My first week of field school is officially over, and we had a pretty productive last day before the weekend! We finally reached the bottom of the trench, and now all we have to do is clear the remaining layer of dirt off of the sand.
When an archaeologist finishes an excavation, they will often lay a tarp down and leave a thin layer of bright sand to let future archaeologists know where they stopped, which is exactly what Shuster did. This means that once we clean up the unit and do the pictures and paperwork we can finally take out the sand and tarp and be done with the Shuster Trench! We will have to take down the corners that were left up (we did not dig through the parts that were unaffected by the trench), but after that we will start working down to the subsoil (the layer that has remained undisturbed by human activity) and hopefully find some neat stuff on the way! A lot of people have been finding wig curlers and projectile points on their way down, so I’m really anxious to see what lies below the trench!
Today we screened a lot more than we dug, as most of this layer was pebbles. I really detest screening now, but I suppose it will be better when we get down to actual soil. We found quite a bit of building material, along with more bones and teeth. I am starting to wonder if all of this bone might indicate that the smokehouse was set up somewhere nearby, as that is one of the outbuildings we are hoping to locate. We also found some great ceramic fragments, including one beautifully decorated piece that is definitely from the Washington era. It even matches other pieces that have been found both here and at Mount Vernon.
Today we had quite a bit of tourists come through as well. It is our job, as archaeologists at an archaeology park, to help them enjoy their experience and get excited about our work. I got to talk to a lot of them and show them some of our finds, and I realized just how much I have learned in only a week of working here. I’m so glad that I came, and even though I am exhausted and more than ready for the weekend, I am also eager to get back to work on Tuesday morning, which is something a lot of people never get to say.
I’m home for memorial day weekend, so this will be my last post for a few days. However, I finally posted some pictures of our excavation this week, which can be found under the “Photos” link at the top of the page. I hope you enjoy them, and have a great weekend! See you on Tuesday!
(A beautiful piece of Washington-era ceramic)