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 amber...it's shiny!).

A close up of the ore found today.

Thats' all for now, back again tomorrow!

The Field School

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