Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 9- Another Wet Day

Mother Nature again determined the course of fieldwork for the day. After attempting to reach the site in the rain, it was decided to begin water screening at a residence about one mile away from the site. In the field, all sediments removed from the excavation units are sifted through ¼ inch mesh screen. All of the dirt that falls through the screens is then collected, bagged, and labeled with excavation unit information for water screening. The falling rain may not help very much during excavation, but during water screening, it is a welcomed aide.

Water screening recovers much smaller artifacts than dry screening alone. As the name implies, water screening uses water to help push sediments through 1/16 inch window screen. Small lithic and ceramic artifacts that may have passed through the ¼ inch mesh screen during dry screening are often able to be recovered during water screening. Water screening also allows for the recovery of plant remains, such as seeds and shells, which can be studied by ethnoarchaeobotanists to shed light on the diets of the inhabitants of the site.

After morning break, the skies began to clear so the crew walked to the site rather than risk getting the van stuck in the mud. Excavations continued on into the afternoon, with many students able to close out another level.

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