So I’m not going to write everyday, only when I have time or feel like it. But anyway, Wednesday I woke to the pleasant surprise of being informed that we would not be going out into the field! My first day off!! It had rained a lot the night before and was still raining pretty hard so we didnt go. We listened to a few lectures about some of the surveying methods used to look for anomalies that could provide information about where to dig. Methods include resistivity, magnetivity, geothermal, and ground penetrating radar. There are more too. One key one is called LiDar, not entirely sure what it stands for, but it provides hi-resolution pictures of the area taken from above using some crazy parachute swamp fan boat combo that can fly very slowly and collect great data. It uses laser beams. We received a flash drive with LiDar images of the site and surrounding areas and tonight we’ll be learning a bit more about it so that we ourselves can look for depressions and other anomalies that can help us.
We also learned a bit about the Cahokia mound complex which we’ll be visiting on Saturday. I think it reached its peak around 1100AD, it had a lot of people in it, it was basically a full fledged agricultural city. More info to come after Saturday. We also watched a short documentary about African American heritage and slavery. So this one guy, dont recall his name, went around gathering info about the family histories of African American celebs like Chris Rock, Maya Angelou, and more. It involves using records to trace ancestors and revealing their stories that their progeny might not know about. Its part of a series so we’ll be watching more. We got some articles about DNA testing that I need to read by next week.
Then after this we basically had the day off. We played some cards, UNO, etc. Myself, Tom, Antoinette, and Kaila went for a short walk around the property just to get familiar with it. Some ponds, a lot of cicadas and bugs. We came back because we knew it was going to rain. What we didnt know was that it was going to be severe thunderstorms with a chance of tornados. We watched the weather and then went into the basement, my room, to be safer. No tornados in the end, everyone was ok.
Today is Thursday, we went to the field at 830 this morning as we will do for the next month. It was quite cold and rainy for the first part of the day. We established a grid around the proveniences we would be excavating. We strung everything up and got everything set and then starting digging. We’re digging a trench 5′ wide by 35′ (or 30′) long that cuts across multiple squares that have been excavated before. The two outside squares havent been yet. We didnt dig the outside squares and just focused on removing the backfill from the trench. We dug down to the landscaping tarp that separated what has been dug last year from what is untouched. We straightened the walls out and then closed the trench in prep for tomorrow when we’ll finally be seeing artifacts. Tomorrow should be fun!!
Thats all for now. Another post will have a few pics from my adventure into the midwest.