Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Oven Site - Extreme Makeover Edition!

It's amazing what six highly motivated students and volunteers can do in six hours...

We had another new volunteer join us today - Chloe - and we did not do enough to scare Krystl away, so we had two plus the usual crew. Since our working premise is the visible part of Oven Site is only a small back room on a larger timber-frame house, we needed to clear the area to the east of last year's excavations.  I thought this might take a day and a half, but by mid-afternoon the site was completely transformed:
Before

After

"I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay..."
In the process of getting rid of the trees we removed, I discovered a round cistern-like feature dating to the 1970s farming era but perhaps much earlier a mere 20 feet from the Oven Site but hitherto hidden under branches and leaves. 

Krystl vs. the trees
By 2 pm, we had laid out the new units that will extend the exploratory trench east and reveal the house's width. After running through the importance and procedures of fully documenting each context, filling out record sheets and taking pre-excavation elevations and photographs, we actually got to start digging the new units. So, amazingly, we're a full day ahead of schedule and have a much better sense of how the site would have looked in the seventeenth century when it wasn't forested.
 
And finally, congratulations to Leigh for winning the Christopher Carter Memorial Merit Scholarship for this field school, by earning the highest grade in my Archaeology of Early America class taught at U of R this past spring. She's the one in the middle, wearing the hat and not looking at the camera...

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