Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Guest Blogger Ashley: Just Another Day In Paradise

Ashley, recording opening elevations

Ashley is the first student to step up and contribute a blog post, reflecting on her recent finds and partnering with Peter, our volunteer who flew all the way from Virginia to participate. She's a rising junior at the U of R from California and plays on the university's volleyball team

Tobacco Pipes & Buttons

Ashley and Peter in the foreground
By the time week three  came around we were all exhausted. We had just finished with the back- breaking shoveling of the quarry fill [the infamous context 005]  from the wide  trench. That’s when Peter came along and I am very happy to say he became one of the greatest digging partners I was fortunate enough to be paired with. His enthusiastic attitude was just the boost I needed:  He was always excited to dig and learn about archaeology. Not only was he in and out of that trench like it was nothing but he was always offering to sift our bucket of dirt. That consists of lifting a twenty-pound  bucket of dirt above your head then climbing out of the trench and dragging it over to the sifters, something all of us students complain about. 

 I remember one time Peter was digging in the trench and as I came to the edge he said he found something and in his hand was an 18th-century tobacco pipe. This was a big deal for us because we were digging in an all-quarry-fill layer (basically scrapping out limestone rocks) and we weren’t expecting to find anything. We went to the lab later that week and his wife Connie got the chance to see our big find and thankfully she took a picture of it. Peter and Connie left us with full stomachs and happy hearts as they treated us to a feast to celebrate finishing Oven site.

Since then I have moved to Smallpox Bay were I found a button from the 20th regiment. After researching it online I discovered that the 20th regiment was in Bermuda between 1841 and 1846. I admit that I enjoy Smallpox Bay much better than Oven Site. Not only does Smallpox Bay have cool buttons but it also has an old car from the 1970s hydroponic farming days which we definitely explored, maybe even a little more than Leigh would have liked. Every day on this island presents a series of new adventures and I am so blessed to have this opportunity. A bad day in Bermuda is usually better than a good day anywhere else.


<-- The last resting place of an old Bedford truck

More to come as we enter our last week of work - only two digging days left and then Friday we fill in the units to preserve them for future seasons...

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