Today we continued excavating our levels, and we were finally able to get the water pump working to screen the dirt. Well, working for a little while, at least.
As we have been excavating the levels of our units, we have been collecting all of the dirt that we remove from the unit to screen for any artifacts that may be in it. We first dry screen the dirt to find any larger artifacts that are in the dirt. The water screening comes in to retrieve the smaller artifacts that slipped through the dry screening. For the water screening, we use a smaller sized screen and pump water through the dirt, making a lot of mud, but leaving the artifacts in the screen, along with some grass and hay. Once we get those remains back to the lab, we (or a couple very talented and intelligent individuals) will pick through the remains until only the artifacts remain.
We were unable to water screen the dirt for long because it quit functioning. It took a few days for it to start working, and now, the first day for us to use it, it stops. But, those are the challenges that people have to face; I just hope that it starts working again so that we are not forced to haul buckets of water up from the river.
Since we were unable to continue water screening throughout the day, we continued working on excavating our units, trying to get through the plow zone so that we can uncover features of the settlement. But, since we are unable to water screen our dirt, we have had to bag all of the dirt after the dry screening. So, all together, we probably have well over 100 bags of dirt waiting to be water screened.
We still have plenty of work ahead of us, but we keep pushing through. Listening to music while we dig makes it a little easier, too.