Staff and student volunteers returned to Molino today to finish documenting profiles in two remaining excavation units, followed by a last push to backfill these units. Once profiles had been carefully mapped and colors recorded (pictured at right are Sarah Everhart, John Krebs, Rachel DeVan, and Jennifer Melcher), the two remaining large units were completely backfilled, leaving only a single remaining shovel test to be documented later this week. The backfilling began with shovels and wheelbarrows, as on previous days, but toward the end of the day we were generously aided by Mr. Richard Marlow, who made many trips back and forth to deliver fill dirt for the last remaining excavation block using his tractor. The video below shows part of that operation, which was a real lifesaver for our already-exhausted students. Thanks again, Mr. Marlow....we couldn't have finished up without you!
The units we backfilled on Friday were subjected to considerable rain over the weekend, but barely settled at all, leaving the level surface we were hoping for (see picture below). Although some units will have to be re-excavated next year for continued exploration in these areas (in some cases for the third time), in the meantime the vegetation and leaf litter will cover virtually all traces of our excavations over the course of the next year.