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

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