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

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