lauantai 19. toukokuuta 2007

Pictures, Week 2

Andre and Professor Jari Okkonen from Oulu University standing in a dwelling depression. We explored some sites in Haukipudas (south of our current site) on Wednesday, and evaluated some new areas to excavate.

Inside a Giants' Church: This particular site was right next to a boulder field (in the top right of the picture), and the structure is quite obvious. You can see that a fair amount of work was necessary to organize and arrange the stones, even if the boulder field was nearby.

More of Andre and Jari. Archaeologists have an innate ability to identify dwellings or features where normal people see nothing; we spent most of our Wednesday morning following them from mysterious depression to mysterious depression.

Pottery: These are among the largest pieces that we've found in our main trench so far, and we usually don't remove finds this big until they're more or less completely exposed. Most ceramics we uncover have decayed so severely that they seem intact until we try to touch them, and so it's always good to be very cautious.

The east end of the main trench. Sam, one of the PhD students leading the field school, is seen here with some pottery and partially exposed charcoal (right of his trowel). At the bottom of the picture is an interesting patch of leached soil that dips well below the enriched layer; we hope that it was some kind of storage pit for inorganic materials, although it could just as easily been the remains of a tree.

Connecting the main trench with a newer one. We left them separate so we could get a good look at the stratigraphy at our site, but the wall has been getting weaker and weaker, so we decided to take it down before it collapsed. Like the rest of the east end of the trench, it's full of decayed ceramics.

The "Thing". The slag, vetch, and charcoal have all come from the west end of this trench (the left side of the picture), which is located in a depression in the middle of the whole feature. In the top-left corner of the trench is the possible fire pit; the deeper we dig there, the more layers of charcoal we find.

The fire pit portion of the Thing. There's lots of charcoal and some slag visible in the middle of the picture (the dark grey/black patches), and the pale white soil around it may be the product of high amounts of heat.

The stratigraphy profile of the Thing. At the bottom of the picture you can see that the enriched and leached layers have been mixed into each other, suggesting that the whole area may have been built up by human inhabitants at one point or another.

Ceramics, ceramics, ceramics. The bottom left piece has clear remnants of black paint, while the other two are good examples of what kinds of patterns we find on comb-ware pottery. Note the size: these are relatively large finds.

One of our PhD students, Dustin, trying to figure out how to use one of the archaeology lab's walkie-talkies.

Kim and Anna, two of the undergraduate students from McGill, putting in geographical coordinates for the 190 or so finds we excavated on Friday. As you can tell, it's a high-octane experience.

Laura, another McGill undergraduate, brushing off some pieces of pottery. Cleaning finds is another exciting aspect of lab-work.

Katie, an undergraduate from University of Buffalo, drying out charcoal. Once dried and cleaned, we can send the larger pieces to be dated (as long as we haven't touched them).

Jen, one of our PhD students from McGill, slaving away in the lab. Jen has been leading the excavation of the Thing.

Eva, our soil expert/PhD student, searching for the charger for our measuring system.

One of the hardest parts about writing the blog is that we can only access the website in Finnish; as a result, I get a lot of error screens, although I'm never sure why.

That's all for now,
The Field School

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