Monday, May 28, 2012

First day and off to a good start

A pretty spectacular first day - beyond expectations. After a prompt 8:30 start we cleared an extensive part of the Oven Site of leaves and vegetation, reestablished the grid for provenience and laid out the excavation trench we'll be opening tomorrow. We had lunch at a fantastic beach near a mangrove grove, which featured fresh-baked cookies and biscuits by Jordan - setting a high bar for the days ahead. By the end of the day, we had also managed to remove the backfill from the 2010 unit we excavated.

 -...and found an amazing and unexpected discovery under the tarp.

It seems that my daughter left a note for future archaeologists when we filled in the square, which she boasted would be worth $1,000,000, because "people will buy anything." She included a story about the Sea Venture's cat, which Cater, Chard, and Waters (the three sailors who lived on Smiths Island in 1611-12) apparently ate, as well as the following marker flag:

A useful marker for establishing a Terminus Ad Quem. Clearly she doesn't suffer from self-esteem issues! We are now set to open a trench to the east of this unit to hopefully define the front of this structure. Since there were no artifacts found today, the lab session was cancelled and some of us went snorkeling among the reefs south of St. Catherine's Bay - huge parrotfish and bright coral. On the way home, I was delighted to see the Corwith Cramer at the dock - my first ship. Back in 1996, I sailed in her from Key West to Bermuda - a momentous voyage that helped me both get a job teaching for SEAmester for a year and gain insights into the lives of sailors that helped me write In the Eye of All Trade. A good omen to see an old friend in St. George's Harbour!

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