Day 5: Tuesday May 12 2009
SURVEY: OVERCOMING OBSTACLES
Greg's Survey team covered a lot of ground today; tromping through the forest we were looking for depressions in the ground along the contour lines. This is done because as time goes on in the geologic history of this area, the land uplifts, so you can see distinct shorelines for particular points in time, they appear as ridges (contours) that dramatically drop off in elevation. This means that as the land was rising out of the ocean, people could only inhabit what was above the water. And where do people like to live? By water! For transportation, food, etc. So these ares, by the old shorelines and rivers, are the best places to survey. Good indications of human occupation are dwelling depressions and storage pits; these depressions look like distinct holes in the ground, unlike many other types of holes that occur in the ground. Eventually the eye is trained to see these things...
Some of the most difficult aspects of Survey are the density of vegetation as well as the impacts of logging in the area. Logging in this region requires drainage which is due to the high water table in the area. This means that large trenches are dug throughout as well as subsequent smaller trenches which usually become a complex of streams, all of which must be overcome by any means possible. Today, one of the largest trenches we've seen so far was quite a feat to overcome!! (Apparently, for everyone except Greg!)
Some of the natural barriers that impede efficient survey are rivers. This one in particular was quite expansive, deep, and swiftly flowing. We had some difficulty finding a place to cross until one of our surveyors discovered this fishing weir. It looked as though someone had taken great pains to create it, as it was impressive in size and it's construction.
At the end of the day our instructions had been for all teams to meet at the nearby Kierikki Museum. We were met, to our surprise, by Mike.... in full furs!
He had spent the day at the Stone Age Center volunteering as a guide to visiting school children. As part of his duties he taught them how to make slate jewelry using a sharp piece of quartz (a burin) to drill holes in the stone.
Other activities he partook in were showing the students how boiling water was made by dropping hot stones into it, as well as how to use a bow and arrow!