Saturday, August 8, 2009

Backfilling

It took a 14-hour work day on Friday for students and staff, but we were able to finish documenting two out of our three open excavations by the time the sun began to drop in the western sky, bringing an official close to the 2009 Pensacola Colonial Frontiers field school at UWF. Students did a great job of finishing what little excavation levels were left, and documenting the exposed profiles of all remaining units, including photography and detailed scale drawings. After multiple photos were taken of each cleaned wall, lines were scribed into the wall showing evident (and sometimes not-so-evident) color variations relating to stratigraphy and natural and cultural soil disturbances (see photo above right), all of which were then carefully drawn, with colors recorded for each division using a Munsell soil color chart (photo to left).

Once each unit was complete, the walls were lined with permeable landscape cloth before the sifted backdirt was manually shoveled back into the same unit from which it came (see video at bottom). Even though it is no small task, this is a traditional ritual of the last day of fieldwork, and signals the wrapup of a tremendously successful 2009 season.

A smaller crew will return early next week to finish the last remaining profile, and backfill the largest of the three excavations we opened this summer. We'll still be posting additional followup blog entries regarding this summer's project, so please stay tuned.


video

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