The students returned to the field today to start week 2 of excavating; and if today is any indicator, it will be a very productive week at that. Unfortunately, it was another very hot and humid day in the field, though the occasional cloud and cool breeze helped to break it up. The tents also helped tremendously, though they are indeed a pain to set up and take down - sometimes literally, if someone manages to get their hand caught in one of the joints in the process. This has happened several times already.
This week we have a few new fresh faces helping us out in the field: one new grad student, and two representatives from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. All three individuals will only be with us this week, but we certainly appreciate them being here to help with field work while they are around. Their presence today was already a tremendous boost to an already very productive field crew.
As for excavating itself, many students are now digging to as low as 20 to 25 centimeters below datum in their units. We should be expecting students to be getting to the bottom of the plow zone and on to the living surface very soon. In Jenna's unit 20 South 22 East, some particularly large-sized pieces of lithic debitage have started to show up. Although still in the plow zone and therefore in a disturbed context, the lithics appear to be concentrated in a particular area of the unit. We will be keeping an eye on this potential "feature" over the next couple of days. Some photos of the flakes, some still in situ, can be seen below:
Some of our "new recruits" for the week also had the opportunity to measure out new 1X1 meter square units around last year's unit 20 South 15 East (the one with post holes). Once students begin finishing up their old units around last year's 20 South 21 East, they will begin breaking ground again at these newly measured ones.
The day finished up very nicely for everyone, and with great timing: we managed to pack up and head out shortly before an afternoon thunderstorm hit the area. Though things are going well, the students and the staff alike would all certainly appreciate a few cooler and/or less humid days for the remainder of the week. From the look of weather forcasts, we may not be so fortunate...