Monday, August 6, 2012

Last day of 2012 field season

The flurry of activity in our 2x2 in Area C.
The last day of the 2012 field season proved to be one of our busiest, but the crew pulled together and successfully completed our work and backfilled both remaining excavation units in Area C before taking a cooling swim in the Escambia River, a now-annual tradition at Molino.  The pictures below provide a glimpse of our busy work to finish bisecting and sampling wall trenches, draw and Munsell profiles, and line the units with landscaping cloth before dumping load after load of dirt back into the units, bringing them back up to the original ground surface.  In a few months, once the leaves fall and vegetation begins to grow back, the forest will begin to return to its original appearance this spring, awaiting our planned 2013 field season.

More work in the 2x2, removing feature samples and mapping.
Even though we had a smaller crew this year than any previous season, we feel that our work was an unqualified success, even though as usual we will need to come back to follow up on many new questions raised by this year's work.  In 2012 we finally discovered the northeastern corner of the 1760 stockade trench, we confirmed the termination of the apparently unfinished stockade wall on the northwest, we found several new smudge pits including our largest cob pit to date, we discovered a completely unknown burned structure floor in the middle of the mission compound, and we identified no fewer than eight north-south wall trenches crossing our now 13.5-meter-long wall trench in Area C, two of which seem to belong to opposite walls of the same building.  We found many new artifacts of daily life at the mission, and took a large number of soil samples for flotation and eventual botanical analysis.  In sum total, 2012 was a resounding success, and we thank all the students, staff, and volunteers for their help in making this year both rewarding and fun, and the Marlow family once again for their hospitality and support.
Another view of the race to finish the 2x2.
Patty and Danielle measure and draw profiles in the 1x2.
Students carefully lining units with landscape cloth.
A line of dirt-filled wheelbarrows awaiting completion of our units.

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