Saturday, June 25, 2011

A day in the sun, finally.

Yesterday morning was filled with thunderstorms, however after waiting for an hour and a half they quickly passed and it turned into a bright sunny day around 8:30 AM. The weather was perfect really, because it dried out the units (those that weren't flooded anyway) and it was only 80 degrees outside, so not too hot.
We got to the field later than usual because of the storms and once there we got to work on either excavating our units or on bailing water out of the flooded units. Afterwards, some units started water screening their dirt right away because it was too wet to dry sift through. Other groups went on like usual.
I started on my third level yesterday and I'm already seeing a difference in my collection of artifacts. The pieces of pottery I'm finding are more often decorated and larger. I'm also finding more complete projectile points and larger pieces of bone too.
When we got back to the cabins we had lab on our own time so that we all could complete our posters. My project is on Cherokee dances. I talk briefly about the origin of Cherokee songs and dances and give examples of some dances too. I also talk about the evidence we have for dancing at our site. We have been able to define an area with a significant lack of artifacts compared to the areas around it that has a circular shape. This was most likely the plaza, where most of the dances would have taken place. We're also finding a large number of turtle shell, especially in the northern units. Many Cherokee dances included turtle shell leg-rattles that were filled with rocks to create music. A lot of this shell was probably used for those dances.
Next week will be our last week here and so we'll continue excavating for a few days and then begin to fill up our units and whatever else necessary to clean up. We also will be presenting our poster presentations on Tuesday so next week should be very busy.

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