torstai 29. toukokuuta 2008

Day 13 & 14 - May 28th & 29th: The Wrap Up

This will probably the last post this year, it's been fun, but all the excavation and such is now done (clever rhyme, no?). I'm conglomerating the last two days of work to form a good size post, instead of two extremely small ones.

Day 13

As always, well mostly always, I'll start with the news from T108 at KKN. Stratigraphy profiles were done of the north and east sides of the trench and then it was backfilled and covered up. That's all for KKN...exciting!

In trench T208 at the Thing it was realized that all the possible fire pits (including another one just discovered today!) go too deep to be completely excavated this year, so the trench will have to be filled and then re-excavated next year. The other news from the Thing is that about a third of the platform and surrounding area was mapped using the total station.

Another set of trowel tests was done at a possible site and stone structure that correspond to an elevation that roughly dates to the transition between the stone age and the bronze age. Three test pits were done in the possible stone structure and one test pit was done in a nearby dwelling depression. All pits were negative, meaning they didn't contain any finds.

As the excavation is drawing to a close more lab work is being done. Several people worked in the lab today and were cataloging finds, organizing finds, and cleaning charcoal.

It was also media day today. The local newspaper, radio, and television companies came out to interview Dr. Ezra Zubrow, Sam Vaneeckhout, Eva Hulse, and Jen Bracewell about the excavations this year.

Here are some pictures from Day 13.

The line of trowel tests being done at the possible stone structure.

Stomping down the dirt while backfilling trench T108 at KKN.

Backfilled and turf replaced at T108, almost as if we were never even there...

Day 14

It's really the end now. Only a few people were sent to the field today, for the purposes of drawing stratigraphy profiles for trench T208 at the Thing, to back fill T208, as well as map the rest of the platform and surrounding area of the Thing with the Total station.

Besides that all that was done is lab work. People continued cataloging, organizing and all that fun stuff. Here are some pictures once again.

Seth Wagner (A University of Buffalo Undergraduate student) organizing finds.

9 years of back logged Nocuso finds after we had finished organizing them.

So that's all! My job is done. Well almost, let's run through some of the exciting things discovered in this year's excavations. A large new site was found by the survey team along the 55 meter coastline, dating roughly to 5000 years BP, which will hopefully be excavated in the near future. An amber bead was found on the south side of the Yli-Ii river at the KKN site for the first time ever, this was very cool. A large refitted quartz scraper was found in the test pits along the shore line from the KKN site, which matches the area's soil samples and supports the theory of the shore line being used as an activity site and possible midden in neolithic sites throughout the area.

The most important thing about this year's excavations is that they seem to support the proposed theory of social evolution throughout the Yli-Ii river area. The Pits site, which was theorized to be the result of early transient Hunter-Gatherer use, seem to be storage pits, while the dwelling depression at KKN contained no evidence of economic specialization. Both of these excavation results tentatively match the theory, as the Pits was located at the 63 meter coast line, while KKN is located at the 60 meter coast line. Remember that in this area higher elevation usually means older, thus the Pits is older than KKN, and this matches the social evolution hypothesis of increased sedentary life style and resource intensification over time (see the first posts for a refresher on this theory if you need it). Carbon dates and further analysis of the new pile of data collected this year will be needed to confirm or falsify these results, but so far, the theory stands. Unfortunately excavations at the Thing weren't completed this year, thus a full interpretation of the site will have to wait until excavations are completed next year.

There we go, synopsis of the Nocuso Archaeological Field School 2008 excavations complete and my job officially done. Hope you enjoyed the blog as much as I enjoyed writing it for you. Tune in next year I guess, hopefully the blog torch will be passed on to a 2009 member of the field school.

The Field School

tiistai 27. toukokuuta 2008

Day 12 - May 27th: Pits, Pits, Pits

Today is going to be a short one, things are starting to wrap up so there isn't a whole lot to report.

Trench T108 at KKN is now officially done being excavated. Sterile bottom sand has been reached in all sections of the trench. Now all there is left to do at KKN is some stratigraphy profiles and back filling the trench, which will be done tomorrow.

Today in trench T208 at the Thing business continued as usual. The bottom of two of the fire pits has been reached which is a good sign, as it means that excavation is nearing completion. The trench was also sketched and mapped with the transit as per usual. Two good sized charcoal samples were also taken for dating purposes.

Survey has finished for the year so the survey team was trowel testing at some of the sites identified this year during survey. The trowel testing is done to see whether identified sites are in fact legit. Today one site was positive and the other was negative. A soil core was also taken, which has a similar function as the bog core described yesterday. Some more bog cores were also taken today.

Test pitting was also done today. A third line of test pits was done at KKN south and parallel to the other two lines done yesterday and Friday. A few of the pits in this line were positive, one of which was closest to the cluster of dwelling depressions, and another which was further away. Another line of test pits was done at the 2005 site today. This line was completely negative except for one pit right on the edge of what is now a bog.

Once again, here are some pictures from the day.

Cookie break after taking a bog core.

Katie Grundtisch (A University of Buffalo Undergraduate student) excavating trench T208 at the Thing.

This is a lizard we found in trench T208 yesterday. I felt bad about today's blog being so short a picture I present a photograph of a lizard to an apologetic manner.

That's all for today.

The Field School

maanantai 26. toukokuuta 2008

Day 11 - May 26th: Blog Cores

Welcome back to our last week of excavation here at the Nocuso Archaeological Field School 2008.

Yesterday (Sunday, May 25th) was field trip day for us. We went to Hossa National park near the Russian border to see some rock art which has been dated to about 4000 years BP. It took us 3 hours to drive there, and we didn't even get to see the paintings. There was too much snow and thus the paintings were not accessible. Oh my dearest Finland. Twas not all bad though, we saw some reindeer at the Hossa reindeer farm, went on a walk around some rapids and an old mill, and drove up to the Russian border...which was, well, a border (Hey, we drove all the way out there, we had to see something!). We then drove the 3 hours back to Oulu. It was a long day, but everyone enjoyed themselves.

Moving on, let's start with the news from trench T108 at KKN. The finds of the day include quartz flakes, a broken biface (a tool worked on both sides), and some very coarse ceramics. Several pieces of charcoal were also removed from the center of the hearth for dating purposes. The last bit of important information from KKN is that the majority of the site was mapped, including the terrace, coastline, and other dwelling depressions.

Now for news from trench T208 at the Thing. We have found yet another fireplace in the trench, that brings the total up to five, meaning this pit is one hell of a palimpsest. The cuts in the stratigraphic profile also confirm the very palimpsestual nature (reused a frightening amount of times) of this pit and show us with relative accuracy what order the fire pits were deposited. Carbon dating should confirm this. These cuts are seen as a V-shape of leeched soil extending into the enriched layer. We have also reached the coarse bottom sand at one end of the trench, this means that that section of the trench is nearly done being excavated. There is however at least 6o more centimeters to excavate in the center of the trench. Nothing more to report other than the trench is now pretty deep, which makes it a little difficult to excavate.

The survey team turned up nothing today. Some bog cores were taken as well today (hence the today's somewhat catchy blog title). Florin Pendea (A PhD student from McGill University studying Palaeoecology) was the man doing this, with some help mind you. A bog core is when you stick a hollow tube into the bog and pull up, well, a core. This core shows the various layers and composition of sediment and allows us to learn more about past shorelines a floral composition of the palaeoenvironment.

Test pitting continued today, which turned up some quartz flakes, ceramics, and some burnt bone. Today's line of test pits was done on the south side, the side furthest from the shore, of the cluster of dwellings at the KKN site. As you may remember a line of test pits was done on the north side of the cluster last week along the shore line which were almost all positive (had finds). The line today only had two positive test pits, which were located close to the dwelling depressions, whereas as those further away were negative. This seems to further support Eva Hulse's hypothesis that the north shore line at KKN was used as a sort of communal midden, as I described last Friday.

Here are some pictures from the weekend field trip and today.

Everyone tormenting a reindeer while it was trying to eat some tasty...pellets.

A curious reindeer.

Trench T108 at KKN.

Jen Bracewell's legs sticking out of trench T208 at the thing...told you excavation has become difficult.

Florin Pendea and Hoyt Leonhardt (A University of Buffalo Undergraduate Student) taking a bog core.

A bog core (Yes, we know what it looks like).

That's it for today, back again tomorrow.

The Field School

lauantai 24. toukokuuta 2008

Day 10 - May 23rd: The Beginning of the End

Today was the last day of excavation for the Oulu University students and the Nocuso students. We wish them farewell and good luck. Now it's up to the McGill and the University of Buffalo students to finish the excavation.

Today was an interesting day at KKN. Trench T108 yielded yet more quartz flakes and ceramics, but we are getting to the bottom sand in several spots, which means the trench is almost done. The section where the midden was believed to be is now being brought down to the same level as the rest of the trench. It is yielding a large amount of quartz flakes, ceramics, and possibly burnt bone. It seems that our trench has just caught the edge of the midden in the south east corner. Test pitting of the KKN area also commenced today. A line of nine 50 by 50 centimeter test pits (one every 4 meters) was done along where the shore was during the occupation of the KKN site where there were no dwelling depressions. Only one of the test pits was negative while the rest yielded large amounts of quartz, ceramics and burnt bone. The coolest find of the day was three large pieces of quartz that refit to form a large scraper, complete with an easily identified used edge. These eight positive test pits in such a concentrated area support the hypothesis that this area near the cluster of dwellings was being used as a large midden. This is also evidenced by the soil samples that Eva Hulse took in this area, which have high levels of phosphorus and other anthropogenically introduced substances. These high levels mean that a high concentration of organic decomposition has been occurring, which is very strong evidence for human use as a midden.

Over in trench T208 at the Thing excavation is proceeding at a rapid pace. A soil core has revealed several layers of charcoal up to two meters down, and even charcoal below the water table. In total the site seems to be a palimpsest of at least four separate fire places, with one being near the top and thus relatively recent. The trench will thus be excavated as far as possible, meaning down to the water table, and charcoal samples will be sampled to be dated, to show us when these fire places were being used. This trench also shows a V-shaped line of decomposing matter, much like the one that was found in T308 at the Pits. This could indicate that the pit was once lined with birch bark for either storage or insulation purposes.

Otherwise not much else today. The survey team didn't find any new sites, but it was a beautiful day, so they did enjoy wandering through the forest in some beautiful weather.

Here are some pictures from the day.

Trench T208 at the Thing at the end of the day.

Trench T108 at KKN at the end of the day.

The refitted large quartz scraper found in a test pit by KKN (some of the smaller broken pieces are missing).

A close up of the used edge of the scraper, you can see very small pieces and fractures along the used edge, this is how we can tell when a quartz tool has been used. I will try to include a picture of the used edge under the microscope at some point next week.

That's all for this week, posts will start back up on Monday and continue for one more week!

The Field School

torstai 22. toukokuuta 2008

Day 9 - May 22nd: The Belgian Stomp

Not a whole lot to report again today. It was however a beautiful day today, we were down to our t-shirts while excavating...well at least I was.

We were beginning to reach the hard pan layer in trench T108 at KKN today, which means the excavation is almost complete. Finds today include quartz flakes and some more bone. A large piece of charcoal was also found; this will be carbon dated to provide us with an estimation of the occupation period of the dwelling being excavated.

Over at trench T208 business went on as usual as well. Even more charcoal samples have been taken and the trench is currently being leveled down to what seems to be a fireplace. Trench T408 was excavated down past the leeched level and into the mixed enriched layer; it shows a normal stratigraphy pattern consistent with not being used extensively in the past, which means this is not in fact the air vent for the slag pit last year. I'm including a photo of what an unmodified natural stratigraphy profile should look like for your edutainment purposes.

Mapping was finished over in trench T308 at the Pits and then the trench was back filled. This is where the title of the blog is taken from today. Sam Vaneeckhout was stomping down the loose soil we were using to fill the trench up quite rhythmically, almost like a dance, which we dubbed "The Belgian Stomp", because Sam is originally from Belgium.

Andrius, who happens to be doing his Master's thesis on the social role of amber in neolithic societies, has dug up some interesting information on our amber bead find from the other day. It is a barrel-shaped bead of the tubular type which is a relatively rare find. There have been similar finds at the Zvejnieki burial in Latvia (dated to between 5300 and 5100 years BP), the Tamula settlement in Estonia, the Lubana lake area in Latvia, and other sites in Lithuania and Poland. These beads were made by drilling into both ends of the bead using flint or bone tools.

Here are some pictures. I'm including a map which outlines possible trade patterns throughout the Baltic Sea basin and Scandinavia from 6000 to 4000 years BP. This is to help us understand how the amber bead find from the other day got to where it is, neolithic trade routes.

What a natural stratigraphic profile should look like, unmodified. Notice the double stratigraphy near the top (two dark layers of decaying organic material). This indicates two temporally different forest floors.

Making a wall of shadow for pictures of trench T308 at the Pits.

Feet...and legs.

Neolithic long distance trade routes in the Baltic Sea basin and Scandinavia. Take note of the amber! (Image taken from: Zvelebil, M. 2006. "Mobility, contact, and exchange in the Baltic Sean basin 6000 to 2000 BC". Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 25: 178-192)

Nearing the end of the second week of excavation, time is really flying! Until next post.

The Field School

keskiviikko 21. toukokuuta 2008

Day 8 - May 21st: Makkara and the Kierikki Stone Age Museum

Today was only a half day so there isn't very much to report. We worked in the morning and then had makkara Wednesday at the re-created neolithic village at the Kierikki Stone Age Museum. After everyone had had their fill of makkara we checked out the museum.

Survey didn't turn up any new sites, but they did see a moose pretty close up! I'd say that's pretty exciting. We've also got a really good picture of the survey line I described in Monday's post.

Trench T108 at KKN today yielded some more quartz flakes and ceramics. No really exciting amber finds today but we still have another seven days of excavation left, so maybe some more will turn up.

The leveling of the ant farm tentacles in trench T208 at the Thing occurred today. According to Jari Okkonen (an Archaeologist here at Oulu university who specializes in Iron Age monuments), the tentacle like enriched soil pattern that descends deep into the trench is a result of the practice of radially lining Iron Age cooking pits with wood during their period of use. Besides this news there is nothing else to report from the Thing besides the fact that trench T408 was brought down to the leeched layer today.

Turns out mourning the death of trench T308 at the Pits yesterday was a little preemptive. It's holding on for one more day, it will probably be filled in tomorrow. The middle pit in trench T308 was brought down a little further today to see if it matched the pattern of the western pit which was excavated down to the water table yesterday. The same pattern is observed, the V-shaped layer of decomposing birch bark described yesterday, except at a shallower depth. Thus this pit could also have been a hunting cache. Also, a decomposed log crosses this pit, in the same position that all of the hard pan soil I was struggling with yesterday is located in the other pit. Coincidence? I think not! Turns out I was hacking through the hard pan remains of a log yesterday. Some soil and stratigraphy maps of trench T308 were also done today.

As I said in the little introduction today, after eating some makkara in the re-created neolithic village we checked out the Kierikki Stone Age Museum. The museum is dedicated to the prehistory of the Yli-Ii river area and has some very fascinating exhibits. You can check out the website to learn some more about it here.

I'm also including a fantastic map of the Yli-Ii area which includes all the current sites, old sites, newly discovered sites from this year, and the former coast lines (contours). Thanks to Dustin Keeler for creating this map, I'm sure the readers will appreciate it greatly, I know I do!

As always, it's picture time.

The moose the survey team found today.

A good picture of the survey line.

Excavating trench T108 at KKN.

The ant farm tentacle feature from T208 at the Thing being leveled.

The modern interpretation of a neolithic village at the Kierikki Stone Age Museum.

Roasting makkara in the re-created neolithic row house.

Andrius and Colin Nielsen (A University College of London Graduate student) used their rock climbing skills to get on top of the big ball here at Oulu University.

A map of the region in question (Click to enlarge). The past coast lines are shown, as well as newly discovered sites in red, and the sites currently being excavated in blue and labeled "Nocuso Excavations".

That's all for the day, roughly same time tomorrow.

The Field School

tiistai 20. toukokuuta 2008

Day 7 - May 20th: Bling on the South Side

Hello again. Again. Today was a rather eventful day for everyone, except for the survey team, who partook in some rather unfruitful forest wandering.

Starting with the coolest of cool news from trench T108 at KKN. There were two very good finds today. The first is what could be a piece of a ground stone tool, possibly made out of slate. I'll include a picture of it today and will update you on it when we've confirmed the material and the possible function. It was found towards the south wall in the middle of the trench. The other cool find of the day was an amber bead. It was found in the middle of the trench too. The amber bead find is very interesting because this is the first amber find on the south side of the Yli-Ii river in this area; all other amber finds have been on the north side. This is also interesting because amber is not found locally, it is found in the southern Baltic region. Thus this find and previous ones like it provide good evidence for long distance trade. A picture of the amber bead will be included today too. The other finds of the day were more of the same: quartz flakes, some ceramics, and several small animal bones.

Moving onto the Thing. A new 70 by 100 centimeter trench was opened up where the air vent of last year's iron smelting pit was believed to be. This has been pretty much confirmed judging by the amount of charcoal found in this new trench, dubbed very lovingly, T408. Another find was a piece of what could be a type of ore in the middle of trench T208. More on that after further lab analysis. Remember how one end of trench T208 looked like an ant farm last week because of the stratigraphic excavation technique? Turns out this is not just the result of roots as was initially thought. This is because it is quite regular and extends very deep down. I'll let you know when we've got some more information on it.

Time to mourn the end of T308 over at the Pits. The trench was excavated down to the water table today and thus will be back filled tomorrow. There are some interesting features in the stratigraphy at the Pits, one being a V-shaped line of charcoal like material that runs parallel to the stratigraphic profile of the pit on both sides. This could be the remnants of decomposing birch bark used to line the pit if it was used as a hunting cache. The other interesting feature in the Pits is some very large layers of hard pan soil, and let me tell you from personal experience today, hard pan is a real pain to excavate, the name says it all.

Not much from the survey team today, five pits along the 60 meter coast line and then nothing else. However we do have some news about the mysterious U-shaped trident mound from last week! Turns out it has been dated to......(drum roll please).....1962. It was used to store explosives that were being used during the building of the dam on the Yli-Ii river.

Stop, picture time!

Andrius Slavuckis (A Graduate student here at Oulu University) crossing a stream while surveying.

Opening up trench T408 at the Thing.

Surveying with the Transit Station at the Thing.

The soil specialists dream in trench T308 at the Pits.

The end of trench T308.

Jose Lopez (A Nocuso student) holds up the possible slate tool he found in trench T108 at KKN.

The amber bead in situ at KKN.

A close up of the possible slate tool from T108.

A close up of the amber bead from T108.

The amber bead under a microscope in the lab (you can see the's shiny!).

A close up of the ore found today.

Thats' all for now, back again tomorrow!

The Field School

maanantai 19. toukokuuta 2008

Day 6 - May 19th: How to Make a Bog Body in One Easy Step...

Hope you all enjoyed your weekends and welcome to another week of archaeological adventures here at the Nocuso 2008 field school.

The title for the blog today is a little misleading, we did not find a bog body today, though that would have been incredibly cool (for those of you non-archaeologists a bog body is a well preserved body of a prehistoric human found in a bog, not a body found in a bog placed there by any sort of recent 'alternative' means...). The title refers to my tour with the survey team today exploring Finland's boggy wilderness looking for dwelling depressions. I'll start off with the goings on over at KKN, the Thing, and the Pits.

Trench T108 at KKN yielded much of the same today, with more quartz flakes, some ceramics, and even another bone find. Unfortunately we forgot the Total Station legs at the university today and had to do all the mapping with a datum and a line level, which takes a lot more time, but is a good thing to know how to do because not every excavation is lucky enough to have access to a Total Station.

Some interesting news comes our way from trench T208 over at the Thing. A fire pit was found in the west end of the trench which looks much like the hearth identified in trench T108, meaning it looks like a ring of enriched soil with some charcoal deposits in and around it.

Trench T308 over at the pits seems to be turning into a soil specialists dream. The trench is now 1.2 meters deep in the west side where the interesting double stratigraphy was noted last week. This allows us to see a very interesting cross-section of the soil layers in the wall. There also is a ring of hard pan (a very hard layer of iron rich soil which usually forms at about the water table) with leeched soil in the middle in the trench. Not sure what this means yet, we will let you know when we figure it out.

Moving on to the bog-tastic adventures of the survey team. Today the survey team found two possible new sites, two dwelling depressions in one and only one at the other, along the 50 meter coast line, which corresponds with roughly 4500 years BP. The large site found on Friday last week was mapped as well. I was part of the survey team today so I can elaborate on how the whole process is done, because it isn't exactly just wandering around the Finnish forest. Using GPS units, a compass, survey maps from the Finnish government, and a knowledge of prehistoric coast lines, the area is divided into transects to be explored by the survey team. Once we arrive at the transect we wish to survey we spread ourselves apart, placing one person every ten meters or so in a straight line along one side of the transect. We then walk through the transect while looking for dwelling depressions, a tell tale sign of prehistoric activity. After we finish a transect we move to the next one and repeat the process. Every time a depression is found it is marked on a GPS unit so it can be found again for future excavation. Now don't think this is at all easy. Several of these transects are done per day, this means that the survey team walks roughly five kilometers per day. Now you're thinking "five kilometers, that's not so bad". Before you make such hasty assumptions let me tell about the type of terrain we are dealing with: extremely dense forest and bogs, bogs, bogs. And some more bogs. And some bogs filled with decaying forest and remnants of what seems to be a lone man with a chainsaw who cuts down trees and just leaves them there to get in our way. Survey is damn hard work, and is fundamental to the archaeological endeavor, as this is how the sites are found in the first place!

So the moral of the survey story is that it is important, difficult work which requires a good pair of rubber boots here in Finland, because bogs are, well, wet.

Here's some pictures from the day.

Sam Vaneeckhout (A PhD student here at Oulu University) working away at trench T308 in the pits will everyone else takes a break.

Sarah Vannice (A McGill Undergraduate Student) is caught by surprise conducting some unorthodox excavation technique.

Check out this wicked stratigraphy and an unusual square feature from trench T308.

The survey team trekking through the Finnish bog.

Getting in line to survey a transect.

Amy Hansen and Greg Korosec (both University of Buffalo Graduate students) observing, and standing in and outside (respectively), a possible dwelling depression.

Done and done, talk to you all tomorrow, same bat time, same bat blog.

The Field School

perjantai 16. toukokuuta 2008

Day 5 - May 16th: When Finland freezes over...

Today was cold. So very cold. People were so cold at KKN and the Thing that a campfire was made over at the lunch site so that we could warm ourselves up. However it was not cold over at the Pits. Apparently Sam worships Apollo, the Greek god of the sun, and cooked up a sacrifice good enough to move all of the sun's rays to trench T308, much to the chagrin of the rest of us.

I'm going to be all crazy today and flip around the order of edutainment provision for you guys. I'll start with a cool find that the survey team found today. They found a large site of 8 depressions (potential structures) that run along the 55 meter shore line. The shore was at this level at around 5000 years BP, so we can relatively safely assume that these sites will date to sometime around this period, as this has been the case with most of the sites excavated throughout this area, they follow the temporal extension of the shore line. The road cuts through one of the depressions and is thus absolutely covered with quartz flakes, but the rest of the depressions are completely intact. This cluster of dwellings will hopefully be excavated in one of the coming years of this project.

Now that I've thrown you guys off with the zany new format...I'll switch back! That's how I roll.

Today in trench T108 at KKN we found more ceramics, guessed it, more quartz flakes. This brings us up to something like 260 finds in this trench, so far most of it being quartz flakes. We started bringing down the east side of the trench more today as that is where the midden is most probably located, this could be why we found more ceramics today and that they concentrate in the east side of the trench. All finds were mapped using the Total Station again today. I'm including a picture of trench T108 today to show you what the excavation technique we are using looks like. It's called technical layering, which means that you keep the excavation going level at all points regardless of soil type. This method allows us to see different patterns of enriched soil and was particularly helpful in the location of the hearth.

Moving on to the day's business over in trench T208. As was posted yesterday, the trench at the Thing this year shows evidence of being a palimpsest cooking pit. No new exciting finds today. However you may find the excavation technique itself quite exciting...well at least I do! I'm including a picture just like I have for trench T108. The technique being used is called stratigraphic layering. This means that you excavate each layer of differing soil types separately. This makes for an uneven trench but helps us to see specific soil morphologies possibly caused by archaeological events. This technique can take a great deal more time than technical layering. Take a look at the picture and you will see what I mean, it looks like an ant farm...FOR GIANT ANTS (hail our new ant overlords...?).

Speaking of ants! Guess who found some sleeping ants in their trench? The team over at the Pits. Before excavation could continue the ants were removed and placed in the back dirt pile so they could wake up when they were good and ready. Otherwise excavation proceeded as usual. The large charcoal feature was excavated showing further evidence for a possible double stratigraphy, meaning two different uses of the site, yay palimpsest! The alternate theory is that we have been digging through a tree and are now coming to the end of it, or some combination of the two (trees frequently root in old hearths for their ash content, disturbing the hearth's contents and creating a dark, rotted root layer nearly indistinguishable from charcoal).

That was a relatively long bit o' text for this post, so now I will cease with the boring and get on to some dazzling photographs.

Feast your eyes on this fine example of technical layering at KKN; also notice the hearth pattern of enriched soil and charcoal at the closest end in this picture, which happens to be the west end.

Now take a gander at some sweet stratigraphic layering at the Thing.

Everyone freezing at trench T108.

Warming up at lunch by the campfire.

Madness sets in at the Thing.

The double stratigraphy at trench T308 mentioned in the post.

Everyone looking at the lovely work being done over at the Pits.

That's the end of week one, it went by pretty fast! Posts will continue on Monday.

The Field School