lauantai 18. kesäkuuta 2011

City Center

June 18, 2011:

On Saturday, we drove down to the city center to explore the public market and Stockmann. The market was incredible and there were plenty of things to see and buy. Mostly, we walk through the food and souvenir area. Afterwards, we went to Stockmann which was similar to a mall in the U.S. It was nice and very unique due to having varieties of products to buy. The things that they have are food, clothes, electronics, and etc.

Soil Profile

June 17, 2011:

On Friday, we were done with most of our trenches. Joseph, Colin, Babar, and Riku were in the T111A, T111B, T111D, and T111E drawing soil profile of the walls. Meanwhile, Alesia was digging further down on T111C trench. Overall, the team finished up most of the soil profiles for the trenches and T111C trench continues to go further down.

torstai 16. kesäkuuta 2011

Bottoming out

It was a productive day on the site! Unfortunately, Jen and Saima did not join us today but Greg did despite the situation with his shoulder. Most of the manpower was directed towards the T111 sites due to the dire need to complete the trenches which was hastily accomplished. Babar and Colin working in T111B and Joseph in T111E stopped finding artifacts at the close of the day, so those trenches were completed. T111C on the other hand still has charcoal bits showing up. The trench has gone down 1 meter, so Alesia had to hang over the side of the trench to excavate. Dustin worked on the T211 series of trenches and found some quartz flakes. The pressure of the project ending is getting to everyone and the demand to complete the project on time was met by the hard work of everyone today!

keskiviikko 15. kesäkuuta 2011

Digging Deeper

On Tuesday, the team once again began excavating the main group of units. Initially, few artifacts was found in the trenches, but as more layers were uncovered, finds began popping up all around unit T111C. In fact, so many quartz flakes and other artifacts were found that the team raced at breakneck speed to record all of the finds and take total station points as the workday drew to a close. Later that evening, the team enjoyed a small dinner on the rooftop sauna at the apartment complex cooked up by a friendly neighbor from Thailand that Dan had met earlier during the trip. The food was very spicy but delicious! Wednesday began with the team setting out for another day of working towards the last few levels of the trenches. After bidding Leyna and Dan farewell the night before as they departed for Israel this morning, the team began the new workday refreshed and eager to turn up new finds at the site. Jen, Babar, Saima, and Alesia worked the main set of units that the team had been excavating since day one, while Colin, Joseph, and Dustin worked a promising new set of units deeper within the woods. Greg unfortunately is still out with a pinched nerve in his shoulder, we all hope he feels better soon! The new set of units had already yielded a promising set of new finds earlier in the week, and the team managed to turn up many new quartz flakes as the workday wore on. Being Wednesday, it was of course Makkara day, once again being held on the beach in Kierikki. A few team members tried their hand at the archery range, and it seems that their skills have definitely improved since the last visit. After lunch, the team cleaned up the trenches and wrapped up the paperwork, and are eager to finish taking down the rest of the trenches and discovering any artifacts beneath.

maanantai 13. kesäkuuta 2011

Chilly Monday

Monday June 13, 2011:

Today the weather was cold, windy, and partly cloudy. It was the perfect weather to excavate due to not being bothered by that many black flies and mosquitoes compared to previous days. As our group arrived at the site Joseph and Leyna had to set up the total station because Dustin, Dan, and Riku had to bring the van back to the University of Oulu to switch for another van. Leyna had taken notes on how to set up the total station the correct way from Dustin and Greg last Friday. It took Joseph and Leyna some time; however they mastered the art of total station 101 and got it running perfectly. Moreover, our group today was split up into two. Joseph, Colin, Alesia, Saima, Jen, Rebecca, and Riku were excavating the trenches from the past two weeks. Dustin, Dan, and Leyna were opening a new trench near last year's site, which is across the road from where the first group is excavating. Last year when they opened the trenches from the site, Dustin said that they found the remains of seal bones, charcoal and flakes. Dustin was certain we would find the same artifacts as last year's excavation. Meanwhile, the other group took up where they left off this past Friday, which was to dig down another 5cm. Alesia found some slag in her trench which is a partially vitreous by-product of smelting ore to separate the metal fraction from the unwanted fraction. This was great news because it shows how pre-historic humans were using the trenches that we are excavating in. Furthermore, Dustin team has found a variety of artifacts in their trenches. They found pieces of seal bones, charcoal, and quartz flake. They were very pleased with their findings and hope to find more interesting artifacts later on. Overall, today excavation was fun, different, and unique due to the different tasks that we all share with one another, which makes the time fly by quickly.

Artic Circle

Sunday, June 12, 2011:

We began our quest to the Arctic Circle. We finally caught a break from the heat! On our way there we stopped at a museum called the Arktikum which has exhibits about the Saamis (the indigenous people of northern Finland), the history of Finland in general, and has a lot of information and exhibits about the arctic and aurora borealis. After spending a few hours observing the past we drove 5 minutes up the road to the Santa Claus Village. There we were able to look at many different shops and grab a bite to eat. There was a little bit of something for everyone and after a long day most of us fell asleep on the drive back.

Zoo time

Saturday, June 11, 2011:

On Saturday we went to the zoo. Riku and his girlfriend as well as Babar and Saima were with us. The zoo had many interesting animals. Amongst them: owls, reindeer, polar bears, and wild boars. After looking through the zoo some people enjoyed the playground while others enjoyed the buffet.

Hot Friday!

Friday, June 10, 2011:

Friday we continued our excavations and worked through the sweltering heat. We worked on the newly opened trench and the total station was sighted to our new site that we are continuing from last year. The site consists of a hearth with a wealth of seal bones and quartz flakes. Finds from there seem to be promising! We rewarded ourselves with lunch at the fish weir and then went to the beach! Saima joined us for the beach. We all enjoyed cooling off in the water and bonding as a group outside of our trenches.

torstai 9. kesäkuuta 2011

Suggested viewing material

Alisia found this video and Riku suggested we add it to the blog. Replace "Northern Ontario" with "Finland" and you get the idea. This also, along with Jen, qualifies as canadian content.

A Very Hot Day

Today was a VERY hot day- about 85 degrees! Dustin, Dan, Greg, Babar, Saima and Joe went on survey while the rest of us stayed at the site to continue digging. We took about 10 water breaks just so we could stick our heads under the water pump right down the road! Lucky (and not so lucky) for us, Greg, Dustin and Dan hung a big blue tarp between two nearby trees yesterday. The tarp was great because it protected most of us in the trench from the sun, but not so great because the shade attracted the bugs!

Our morning was filled with some frustration over our Total Station (a device for measuring the location and height of things) which was giving us some problems, but after some calm and careful figuring we got everything working correctly. No major finds today, just a few samples of charcoal. We actually opened up a new square yesterday, but didn't have time to do more than remove the organic layer. Today we had plenty of time to work on the new square, and to our surprise we found MORE CHARCOAL! We are so confused as to what this means… How many fires were there and how were they arranged and tended? What were these fires used for?

We have made our plans for the upcoming weekend. We have decided to visit Rovaniemi (a quaint city near the arctic circle) on Saturday and to go to the beach after our day of digging tomorrow! Some of us are absolutely thrilled to jump into some cold water while at the beach, while others wonder why we want to spend more time in the sun and covered in sand…

Tomorrow is a whole new day! We all can't wait to see what's in store for us tomorrow once we get to the site- keep an eye out for updates!

keskiviikko 8. kesäkuuta 2011

Uncovering New Finds and a New Unit

Wednesday started with a new day of excavation, with nearly the entire team joining in. Today Saima was the only one of the two Pakistani students to attend, and Greg and Dustin were at tthe site as well due to the fact that there was no survey today. The weather was beautiful but again fairly hot, even more so than yesterday. A passing breeze kept the bugs away at first, but by 10:30 the black flies returned in force. Fortuneatly, Riku picked up some bug spray that was specially designed this type of insect versus mosquitos, and it worked wonders. After taking down a few new layers, the team broke for lunch.
Today was the famous makarat Wednesday, and the team head out to the beach in Kieriki. The beach doubled as a stone age exhibit for the local Yli-Ii museum, which also had a mini archery range. Most of the team
stepped up to try their hand at using a bow and arrow, which is much more difficult than it looks! After lunch, the team returned to the dig site, and set up a tarp in order to provide shade for the excavation site, and the team was much more productive after it cooled down. Towards the end of the day, a new unit adjacent to units T111A and T111D was opened, and several large charcoal finds were recovered from unit T111C. Some pieces recovered from the southern part of T11C were especially large and intact, indicating that this fire pit must have been very large. In all, the team managed to work through the heat and flies and make substantial process on the excavation.

tiistai 7. kesäkuuta 2011

Survey: June 7 2011

We set off at the crack of “dawn.” Dustin, Greg, Dan, Leyna, and Alesia made up the survey squad. We surveyed 4 or 5 potential sites with little luck. On our trek through the foliage on this 85 degree (Fahrenheit) day, we encountered fire anthills and poisonous snakes known as adders which were promptly poked and irritated for our own enjoyment. We surveyed the land for depressions or other spots that seemed to have human modification. Through one of the densest parts of the forest, we stumbled upon a structure similar to a giant’s church that had not been discovered yet. It was located on top of a hill and had many boulders in the walls; a typical trait of giant’s churches. There has been sufficient overgrowth, making the feature difficult to recognize without a keen eye. One rule that we learned today was that no matter how hot it is, how much you are moving, or even how much bug spray you lather yourself in, the tiny black flies will get you.

New Patterns Emerge

Tuesday June 7 2011

Today was a rather bright day as the team arrived at the excavation site, and work began on digging a few more layers. Sima was feeling unwell and took the day off, however we were joined by Babar after his absence the previous day. As morning faded into afternoon, however, the team began to think of the impossible: it was nearly too hot to dig in Finland. The bugs returned again in force as well, and most of the team left the site with more than a few new bug bites, Riku being the exception, as he seems to have an immunity built up from dealing with the various insects that infest the trench from time to time. After a few water breaks and taking down a few layers in all of the units, the team noticed some interesting wave patterns in the trench, a pattern that may be romising as further layers are uncovered in the coming days. Overall, it was a very productive day at the excavation site, and team is eager to see what new archaeological features may emerge.

maanantai 6. kesäkuuta 2011

Week One: The Excavation Begins

Monday and TuesdayAfter long plane rides, we had a small amount of time to get over our jet lag. Eva and Jen were piteous to our situation and the first Monday began at 10 as opposed to the usual 7:45. We went to the University of Oulu to gather supplies like tarps, sifters, trowels, buckets, shovels, etc. We met Babar and Saima (international students from Pakistan studying in Oulu) along with Riku, our Finnish assistant. After loading up the cars and eating lunch, the adventure to the site began. We enjoyed the sights of Finland including the lack of stop signs, pine and birch trees, and the beautiful Ii River. After driving back the path to the site, we encountered some fallen trees. Thankfully there was another way around because there was no way we were going to be able to get there. We finally got to the site, dropped off our equipment and explored.
Tuesday was the first day of excavations and the war with the total station. It refused to participate by giving completely inaccurate results. We learned how to fill out layer sheets and how to dig properly. By the end of the day, the total station was semi-compliant to our wishes, which was satisfactory. We endured the bugginess of Finland and engaged in battle by using the strongest bug spray in the world (which is apparently too weak to repel the bugs). Overall, the weather has been beautiful and sunny.

June 1 2011 Wednesday:After a tough day of digging on Tuesday, the team finally caught a break on Wednesday as rain clouds moved in on the Yli-II dig site. After picking up Riku, and two Pakistani students, Babar and Saima, the team set out for the excavation site. Overcast clouds held for roughly two hours in the morning, when rain began pouring down. The team took shelter in the tent/vans for about 20 minutes hoping for a break. As the rain began pouring more severely, however, Jennifer and Eva decided to take the team out for a field trip and the Yli-II museum. The team spent a rainy afternoon touring the exhibits and learning about the concept of uplift. Uplift is caused when the sea level gradually recedes and the shoreline expands westward. Archaelogists can use this phenomenon to accurately measure where the shoreline was at a particular point in time, and more importantly, the specific time periods of the artifacts buried within a particular time period. After wrapping up the afternoon with a short video on previous excavations in the area, the team broke for a quick meal and then returned to the dig site as the rain had finally subsided. Great progress was made in the remaining hours, with artifacts such as charcoal, quartz and fcr found within the trenches. Overall, it was a much easier, yet still productive day for the excavation team, who looked forward to discovering new finds the next morning.June 2 2011 Thursday

Thursday began with a continuation of digging in the trenches. Greg’s flight had been delayed in Toronto due to inclement weather on the Eastern coast of North America, but he was due to arrive that night, along with Dustin. The usually excavation suspects were joined by two faces: a Chinese student, and a Finnish-American student, both welcome additions to the team. A new unit, 111C was opened by Joe, Babar, and Saima, and many total station points leftover from the previous day were taken. In addition to excavation, Colin and Alesia were able to get some hands on experience with using the total station and the prism, as there were plenty of new points to be taken by the team due to the plethora of new finds. With these new finds the team continued to learn on how to fill out the paperwork, documenting samples, photos, and layers. Thankfully the weather began to hold much better today, and with increased warmth and wind, the bugs were much more sparse than earlier in the week.

June 3 2011 Friday: What the ROOT?
The weather on Friday was pretty nice, it was warm and windy which help kept the bugs away for a while. We were split into two groups for survey and excavation. Jen supervised the excavation team consisted of Babar, Saima, Riku, Alicia, and Eva. Dustin supervised the survey team consisted of Joseph, Colin, Dan, and Leyna.
Furthermore, while digging the excavation team found a big root that got in the most of the way and had a significant effect on the layer profile drawing. The only other way to avoid this root was to work around it for now. The survey team was introduced to t
he methods of survey by Dustin, he showed them how to look for artifacts that were in the mix of destruction by forester who chopped down the trees and destroy most of the previous excavation site from 2008. We were looking for anything that relates to pre-historic humans that lived in the region, such as flake, slate, and FCR (Fire-cracked rock). Once we found these artifacts, we marked them with a red flag. Th
en later on we came back to mark the coordinates with the handheld GPS in order to use it for mapping purposes. Friday was Eva last day working with us;
we took a group picture and said our farewell’s to her. We will miss her!

June 4TH 2011: Fun Saturday!
We went out to explore downtown Oulu to see what the nightlife had to offer. The downtow
n was pretty live due to a numerous numbers of high schools that just graduated. We went to the Finnish karaoke to chat and grab a couple of drinks. Ultima
tely, downtown Oulu was very fun and exciting. It was a nice to see a different perspective of nightlife in contrast to the U.S.


Today was a BEAUTIFUL Sunday in Finland!
We decided to take a field trip to a nearby "Giants Church" and the nearby bird sanctuary/park. The "Giants Church" is a large ring of piled stones with several surrounding burial cairns.

The morning ended up being a bit more eventful
than we imagined… While we were in our van (looking for the signs to the Giants Church) we ran over the stump of a tree that had been recently cut down! Thankfully, no one was hurt and other than a VERY flat tire there was no damage. We even got lucky because the van we were driving had a FLAT SPARE TIRE but our other van had another one we could use. Archaeology is always an adventure!

The bird sanctuary was absolutely beautiful- clear skies, shining sun and the perfect example of isostatic uplift! There were signs marking the previous shorelines, one
as recent as 1986! The entire sanctuary was a marshland, but they had built a nice little wooden walkway to allow the public access. Most of the land was still very waterlogged, however you could see the slow process of it drying out and rising above the water. The park also had two bird-viewing buildings- one was a very tall tower, and the other a small one-story building with many windows to allow people to view the many migrating birds that visit the area. Unfortunately, we didn't see too many birds but it was absolutely beautiful anyway!

It was a fun day all around! :)

The majority of us resumed excavating this morning while Greg, Dustin and Riku (our Finnish colleague) went to restock the vans with spare tires. After yesterdays adventure, we figured it best to have usable spares just in case anything happened again…

For those of us at the site, the bugs were really bad… No amount of bug-spray helped- even the FIRE didn't help! There weren't many mosquitos out, it was the black flies that were the problem. They land on you and crawl around until they find a delicious spot worth biting into!
Greg, Dustin and Riku made it back to the site in time for lunch, and after that we split into two teams. One team, Greg, Dustin, Colin and Joe went off to scout for new areas to survey while the rest of us continued excavating. It was SO frustrating having to work with so many flies trying to eat us alive, but by the end of the day we had gotten to level 7 in squares B and C and to the bottom level 5 in square D. On order to do that, Saima had to saw through a huge tree root that was becoming too frustrating to dig around anymore.

Overall, today was a great day and we can't wait to get back to excavating and to begin our survey project.