Tuesday, 5 June 2012

June 4th: Soil and Rust

Today most of the crew (Alexis, Lindsay, Nathan, Mark, Evan, Spencer K, and myself) were in the field excavating as Ryan and Dini continued to work on the survey south of the McKenzie Creek site. Nathan continued to dig in his unit at the "industrial/cabin" area which appears to have a depression in the sediment going as deep as 70 cm. We still are not sure what exactly this "pit" (approximately 50 cm wide at the top) might have been for or why the soil is significantly softer than the surrounding sediment. Lindsay and Nathan set up three new excavation units in that same area which will hopefully reveal more artifacts helping us piece together the puzzle of what this space was designated for in the early 1900's. Jasmin and Willow worked with Cheryl in the lab doing PH tests on soil samples taken from areas that we think may have been used as gardens. Here's a photo of the soil tests so far:

The process of rust removal by electrolysis has made a huge difference when applied to some of the metal artifacts we have found at the McKenzie Creek site. Some of the items we have recovered that are made of metal have become severely rusted and almost indistinguishable. I have mentioned this process before in previous posts, but I wanted to show some examples of Spencer K's hard work with electrolysis treatments on a few of the more significant metal finds from this year's excavations.

This is the before and after photos of a metal handle used to open and close a stove pipe flute. When found, it appeared as just chunky bits of rust in a rounded shape. The electrolysis treatment reveals astounding detail of the design on this piece (a wreath with flowers). This gives us a better idea of what to research when we're looking for diagnostics and information on stoves from the early 1900's.

 This stove piece was found in association with the flue handle. Again, originally this artifact was caked with rust and now looks almost new. We are able to make out the words "Air Tight" which is a model of wood heating stove from the early 1900's.

On a side note....

We are so lucky to be working in such a beautiful forested area in the LSCR and be so close to wildlife. Recently Mark had a chance to snap a photo of some deer just a few feet away from him while on site. They don't seem too afraid of us at all! This video clip shot by Mark shows just how close we are able to get:

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