Monday, June 11, 2012

A watery day

Hurricane fence and stitched units filled with rainwater.
After torrential rains and flooding in the Pensacola area over the weekend, we were pleased to find that our daily routine of stitching the plastic-covered units with sandbags worked well to protect the excavated surfaces from virtually all water, allowing us to get several hours of productive fieldwork on site today.

View to north showing locations of feature trenches.
All open units made progress, including in Area C, where both units (2x2 m and 1x2 m) are now clearly exposing the last remnants of the yellow clay cap over the dissected dark brown midden soil underneath.  As can be seen in the edited picture above, the linear zones of yellow clay now remain only in the narrowing depressions over the wall trenches for Features 19 and 122, while islands of darker midden soil remain elevated in-between.  One perpendicular yellow clay trench may overlie a previously-undiscovered wall to the right (east).  With further excavation this week, we should make this determination soon.

Patty McMahon and Michelle Pigott in the downpour.
Bobby Bernal and Kendall burns soaking up water with burlap.
Unfortunately, when the rains returned late in the morning, the already-saturated ground allowed surface water to accumulate far more rapidly than normal, and water began flowing back into the units before we could build hastily-constructed sandbag barriers.  Although we used burlap to soak up much of the new water from the exposed excavation surface, our drenched crew ended up packing up for the day before lunch.  Since we're so close to uncovering pivotal details about the mission, we're really hoping tomorrow will bring better weather!

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