Beneath the blessings of the returned sun, the budding archaeologists rallied for day 17 of the field-school. With Thursday quickly approaching, the tentative grand finale of the 2009 expedition, a sense of urgency lingered in the air. For example, despite steady progress, the hordes of soil samples returning to the lab each evening have only provided approximately 2/3 of the required samples and seemingly done little to appease Eva’s appetite for more. On the other hand, the successful completion of the surface exposure and salvage operations at the lower dwelling depression at Hiidenkangas have pacified Colin’s slave-driving and rumor has it that his subjects received a well-deserved cookie break this afternoon.
Soil sampling, soil sampling, trench excavating and soil sampling comprised the majority of the tasks delegated by Eva to Sarah, Elizabeth and Brendan toiling about at the Thing. Sarah and Brendan managed to bring down T409 to the alluvial deposits laid down by wave action and Elizabeth finished it off with another marvelous rendition of its gorgeous stratigraphy.
A stone’s throw away, Katie sketched a stratigraphic profile of the sand-pit that contained the organic contents of a pit uncovered earlier this field-season. The complexity of the stratigraphy, compounded by a bulldozer cut, has been described by Katie as “crazy.” We find ourselves at the field-school in complete agreement with this statement. Crazy indeed.
Meanwhile, a stone’s throw away in the other direction would have hit Eva as she worked to collect soil samples from the 3x3 grid. Later in the afternoon she would be given a hand by both Sarah and Brendan who, now freed from excavating T409, discovered an ominous pink layer in a core sample. Although Brendan’s remorseful suggestion that they had indeed just “sampled” a small forest creature was immediately rejected, a more plausible and likely rational explanation has yet to be provided.
Having barely avoided mutiny the previous day, Colin and Sam re-evaluated their approach to worker motivation and reinstated the cookie-break with immediate results. The team composed of Andrius, Lisa, Loretta, and Hunter back-filled the lower dwelling depression by unrolling the sod mats over the exposed surface to prevent erosion and mask the work from curious eyes. The crew was then marched up to the upper depression where a number of finds including more quartz debitage and several worked tools were uncovered during the continued surface exposure.
Zooming about on their speeder-bikes on the farthest moon of Endor, Greg and Dustin summoned the satellites to map the sites found along the 55 contour last year. The duo also completed soil testing at two additional possible sites located earlier this season along the 60. Dustin and Greg’s limited experience at maneuvering the speeder-bikes, provided by an Empire-sanctioned grant, proved inefficient and the two were force to resort to the traditional van. No sooner had the pair reluctantly handed the bikes over to a band of Jawas, when the van got a flat. Thank to Greg’s training in the grueling pits of NASCAR, the two were off again in 11.67 seconds.