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December 3, 2007 Posted 6 December 2007: I think I may have completed my last day in lab. I will have to take a few more pictures, but I think I have collected all the data I need. I looked mostly at shells, trying to categorize them as oyster, clams (quahog, soft-shell, etc.). I was somewhat successful. You can check Faunal Remains to see the data I collected. I also went to the RISD Nature Lab to see what I could do about these bones. The Nature Lab was much more disorganized than I had expected, and although they had a large number of animal bones, most of them were just labeled "Assorted Vertebrae" or "Animal Bones," with no way identification describing to what animal the bones belonged. I asked the librarians for help, and they were able to give me a book, which definitely helped me identify some of the bones. I checked my work with Lisa Anderson today, and learned that most of what I had found out was probably wrong. Oh well.
November 26, 2007
Posted 3 December 2007: I am definitely making more progress and I am feeling much better about this project in general. I finished massing and photographing the remains. Check Faunal Remains for more.
November 19, 2007
Posted 3 December 2007: I collected the faunal remains and placed them in bags. I began massing them. Check Faunal Remains for the data and further updates!
November 12, 2007
Posted 19 November 2007: First day in the lab! Working in the lab was very different from digging in the field: we didn't get dirty, we were warmer, and we had light the whole time! We worked pretty efficiently today, washing all of the artifacts we had found over the last eight weeks. I enjoyed seeing some of the artifacts that I had not uncovered and also being reminded of the ones I had found but about which I had already forgotten. Lab work also gave me time to think about my project -- faunal remains. Hmmm...maybe I'll have something to post about that this week.
November 5, 2007
Posted 12 November 2007: Today was the last day of field work! I'm definitely happy to be moving on to the lab, but I'm sad to say goodbye to the digging component of this class. That being said, today was one of the most difficult days. First, we had to draw sections and top plans of all the trenches. I was assigned to D2 with Cindy. Ronnie and Cindy had actually already completed the top plan for this trench the previous week, so Cindy and I only had to draw the section. We drew sections for the south and east walls. I was excited to apply what we had learned in section.
After drawing the section for D2, Cindy and I, along with Stephanie began taking soil samples of all the trenches. I actually really enjoyed reading the sections and taking soil samples from each one. The different soil colors in the bags all next to each other were beautiful! By this time, the sun had already begun to set, and were getting really cold. We had to finish taking soil samples in total darkness, which, as you can imagine was extremely difficult.
The last work of the day involved backfill! I was not looking forward to this part of digging at all, and it was even worse than I thought it would be! At least it's over with, and we didn't make too much of a mess of the FBC's yard.
I'm a little worried about the final project. I'm excited about my topic -- faunal remains, so I'll just try to have fun with it. Again, I'm a little sad to stop digging, but I can't wait to get into lab to examine some of our finds!
October 29, 2007
Posted 31 October 2007: Today I got to return to my favorite trench: D1! I hope everyone had a chance to dig here some time this semester. We seem to find something interesting every couple seconds. However, that was not the case today. Chelsea and I found almost nothing, at least compared to some of the amazing finds that have taken place in this trench earlier. Digging in this trench was also extremely uncomfortable. Again, D1 is located on a slope, so I worked on the deeper south side of the test pit. The blood was rushing to my head -- I became dizzy whenever I got up to sift the dirt. Eventually, we decided to quarter the trench, in a last attempt to get deeper and find something exciting! I feel terrible saying that -- I sound like a treasure hunter or something. I remember how excited I was to find the first metal nail in this same trench about a month ago, and now I'm annoyed whenever I find one. I guess I'm tired of digging, even though I've had a great time.
Chelsea and I continued digging our corners, bumping into each other the way a righty and a lefty do when they eat at the same table (Chelsea's words!). I'm actually glad that today was our last day of digging. Again, I had so much fun, but I can't wait to get into the lab and start analyzing these objects. It's starting to get cold too, so I'll be happy to be indoors.
October 22, 2007
Posted 31 October 2007: I totally forgot to post my journal entry. It's a little late. Honestly, not much happened on this day of digging. I was assigned to C2 for the first time with Maddy. I have to say I absolutely hate this trench. We didn't find very much at all. We found a few interesting things, but mostly this trench seems to be empty. We thought we had dug past any colonial history, but then we found a piece of plastic, proving that we were still in the modern layer. I would think that this part of the church's lawn was probably disturbed during the construction of Benefit Street, so any artifacts that may have been in this part of the lawn were destroyed or buried, and all stratigraphy was likely ruined. It was still a beautiful day, and I was very happy to be outside! But I recommend that we stop digging in C2, and focus our attention on the test pits that yield more finds.
October 20, 2007
Posted 21 October 2007: Today was the optional digging/meet with members of the congregation. I stayed for a little more than an hour, and during that time, I got to return to my favorite trench: D1! I had forgotten what it was like finding 10 glass shards and 5 nails every minute. I was able to chat with a few members of the congregation. I really enjoyed talking to and screening dirt with the historian. He was really interested in what we were finding. No amazing finds today, but I'm sure when I get back to digging on Monday, many more interesting artifacts will be unearthed!
October 15, 2007
Posted 21 October 2007: Unfortunately, I missed today's field work, but I had a great time in Colorado if anyone is curious!
October 1, 2007
Posted 5 October 2007: We're getting deeper! I continued working on C1, again with Stephanie, but this time with Ronnie joining us. Tyler helped out at the beginning, but Kate moved him to another trench after the first half of digging. I really enjoyed working with new people. I have to admit, though, not only did I know Stephanie from working on C1 with her last week, but I also had already become friends with Ronnie (from my freshman unit as well as taking many archaeology classes with her during the past few years) and Tyler who is in a geology class I'm also taking and has played in the orchestra with me. So maybe the people weren't entirely new, but I do enjoy rotating and getting to know other people (and other trenches!) better.
But enough about all that! As far as digging goes, I was a bit tired and hot, but I still enjoyed being outside. The work went very smoothly -- it was the first time I had worked with three people! The digging went quickly, but sometimes we did get in each other's way. We found some interesting objects -- some ceramics and painted glass. We also came across a new sedimentary layer, so that cut SU4 short. I wonder what SU5 will be like!
I also had a good time chatting with Jason Urbanus. He's a cool guy (not that Kate and Michelle aren't :), well they aren't guys, but they are cool -- you know what I mean).
September 24, 2007
Posted 30 September 2007: Last Monday's field work was still fun, but rather uneventful compared to the first week of excavation. I have to admit that this week's digging was much more uncomfortable than last time's. I got really dirty too. Trench D1 had no tarp on it all week, so it was exposed to the sunlight even more than the other trenches. It was so dusty! When I got back to my dorm, I saw my reflection in the mirror -- it looked as if I had bruises all over my face, but it was just dirt. Chelsea and I didn't find too much in this trench, but after I left to work on C1, she found a pipe! Stephanie and I found some pretty cool objects in C1, though. We found a piece of glass (probably the bottom of an old bottle) larger than any other I had found in the two days of field work. Stephanie also found an interesting piece of glass with a nice design on it. So far, D1 may have produced many more objects, but the few artifacts we've found in C1 are more exciting. While we were digging, I remember Michelle asking us if the cars driving down Angell Street were freaking us out (we were literally right next to the bend in the street, which gave us the illusion that cars were driving straight at us). I actually hadn't noticed until she pointed this disconcerting fact out. Thanks, Michelle!
September 17, 2007
Posted 22 September 2007: I've had almost a week to reflect on the first day of field work at the First Baptist Church that took place on September 17th. Even though I'm an archaeology major, Monday was my first opportunity to work in the field. It was great! At first I had a little trouble setting up the trench (D1) with my group, but I think I have the hang of it now. D1 is located just to the left of the staircase that leads into the south end of FBC. Chelsea and I had a lot of fun (probably a little too much fun) digging. But we did find many "artifacts" -- lots of glass, nails and other metal, shells, and beans :) I can't wait to get started on SU2 -- I'm sure we'll find much more. Monday was a great learning experience, and this Monday should be even more enlightening!