Thursday, June 12, 2014

Continuing the search for Los Tobases, plus a rain day field trip

Kayla and Ericha finish off another shovel test.
Our students are taking a planned week-long break from ongoing excavations at Mission Escambe to continue the search for the Upper Creek town of Los Tobases just four leagues to the north along the Escambia River near Mystic Springs, Florida.  Shovel tests are the order of the day here, with five teams of students digging 3-5 tests per day through yellow sands in search of traces of ancient occupation.  In addition to these tests, we have established a new map grid and are in the process of creating a detailed topographic map of the site in order to see whether there are any high spots in the generally flat landscape.

Artifacts from many time periods are appearing frequently during the testing, including numerous potsherds dating to the late prehistoric Pensacola culture, and others from earlier Weeden Island and other cultures.  There is clearly an archaeological site here extending from one documented years ago farther north along the river, but as yet we have no definitive evidence for the 1730s/1759-1761 Creek occupation that we are searching for.  We have two more days of testing coming up, so there is still time to continue the search.

Wednesday was a rain day, and the students spent the morning rough-sorting artifacts from the Molino site, and took a fun field trip to the Fort Walton Temple Mound Museum during the afternoon.  Pictures of our activities this week follow below.

Kandiss works on cleaning up the base of a shovel test.

A rimsherd of Carabelle Incised pottery.

A very nice burnished and carefully incised Pensacola sherd.
A nicely incised sherd.

Jennifer Melcher leads students in rough sorting.

Olivia, Melody, and Michelle rough sorting.
Lunchtime during the field trip.
Students touring the Temple Mound Museum.
Melody and Chelsea trying out the bowdrill.
Katie and Michelle admiring a touring collection of art about the Calusa Indians.

Kalya delivering an impromptu lecture....
A group picture atop the temple mound.

The silly version...

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