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

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