Friday, May 15, 2015

2015 Colonial Frontiers Field School Preparations

(L-R) Jen, Kayla, Jodi, Emily, Melissa, Caroline, Olivia, and Jillian
The stage is now set for the sixth Pensacola Colonial Frontiers archaeological field school, once again focusing on the mid-18th-century Mission San Joseph de Escambe, but this year including expanded fieldwork at the adjacent Reconstruction-era Molino Mills steam-powered sawmill (1866-1884), along with new shovel testing at a Second Spanish-era water-powered sawmill site farther south along the Escambia River, both of which are the respective thesis projects of this year's graduate field directors-in-training Melissa Maynard and Jillian Okray (pictured above).  Our supervisory crew also includes four additional returning members of last year's crew, graduate student site supervisor Jen Knutson, graduate student supervisors-in-training Olivia Pitts and Jodi Preston, and recently-graduated Kayla Rowe, along with two newcomers to the PCF field school, graduate student supervisors-in-training Emily Dietrich and Caroline Peacock. Dr. John Worth will once again serve as principal investigator.

This week the supervisory crew prepared equipment and paperwork for the field school starting next week, and made several visits to the site, including half a day today (Friday), clearing brush, raking excavation areas, re-establishing the site mapping grid (with the much-appreciated help of UWF Archaeology Institute research associate Jennifer Melcher, also a veteran of the first two field seasons at the mission), and staking in new excavation units.  While details will follow over the course of the next ten weeks of fieldwork, the pictures below show some of the activity from this week.

Melissa probes the lateral extent of a buried sawmill-era brick floor discovered last year.

Jennifer Melcher runs a training session on total station use; also pictured are Jodi, Olivia, Kayla, Caroline, and Emily.

Caroline holding the stadia rod for mapping.

Kayla makes good use of a machete.

Olivia after delivering more brush to the brush pile.

Staking in an excavation unit; (L-R) Jen K., Jillian, Jen M., Olivia, Jodi.

One of the mission's reptilian denizens, the Gulf Hammock Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta williamsi), climbing a tree.

In a curiously familiar moment, Dr. Worth tries to make friends with the snake.

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