The weather was clear, hot, and humid for our first day with a full complement of students (right) in the field at Mission Escambe on Tuesday. Four teams of students with supervisors began work in several areas, including two excavating shovel tests to the immediate west of the mission site, one team clearing a line through the woods for yet another line of shovel tests to the east, and a final team using the total station to set up new datum points and sight in six additional shovel test locations (which we'll be excavating over the next week). Apart from learning about the various techniques of field archaeology (many for the first time), the students experienced firsthand the field conditions that make sunscreen, bugspray, bandaids, and (most of all) water necessary. Below are an assortment of photos and videos of the day's work.
First, our first two shovel test locations, both of which appear to contain only modern debris.
Second, Hallie Johnson and Amelia Easterling gridding out a new shovel test.
Next, John Krebs, Linda Suzanne Borgen, and Becca Booker taking measurements using the total station, with Linda Geary and Allen Wilson holding the prism in the distance.
Cody Poitevint, Danielle Dadiego, and Mark Vadas setting up the photo board for documentation of the shovel test prior to excavation.
Sara Smiddie and Sydney DePalma screening excavated dirt.
Cody Poitevint clipping large roots with Danielle Dadiego looking on, and Tonya Chandler screening.
Hallie Johnson measuring shovel test depths, with Norma Harris looking on and Rachel DeVan in background.
Students lined up at the water cooler; in picture are Linda Suzanne Borgen, Danielle Dadiego, Matt Tanner, Norma Harris, Jennifer Melcher, and Mark Vadas.
Finally, video of Heather Puhl using a machete to cut brush, with Lee Ann Wayland and Patrick Johnson dragging brush out of the woods, and Matt Tanner in the background.