Thursday, 7 June 2012

June 6th: Divide and Conquer Archaeology

A fairly small crew today in the field as Nathan, Evan and Kitty continued to excavate the "industrial/cabin" area. We suggested to Bob that this area might have been a workshop and not a cabin. The artifacts we have recovered from the units in this zone seem to support that idea.

Today there were quite a few visitors to the site including Capilano University anthropologist Maureen Bracewell and sociologist Rita Isola and her husband. Another group, including 2007 field school alumnus Lin Guenther also spent about 90 minutes on site, getting the tour and talk from Bob. We have now had five professors from Capilano and other colleges and universities visit over the past week, and three former field school members (from 2007, 2008, and 2009).

Nathan and Evan are sorting through some items (mainly melted glass) looking for anything with diagnostics on it that could be cataloged as an artifact.

Ryan and Spencer spent most of the day backfilling the excavation units at the "cabin" area. They received praise from Bob as one of the finest backfilling jobs that he has ever seen in the history of the Seymour Valley Archaeology Project.

Willow keeps digging in her unit that we think might have been a garden. She continues to find small pieces of bone, nails, and a few little ceramic fragments. We still are not sure what this area was used for a century ago, hopefully more excavation will give us clues.

Jasmin continued to excavate the rock feature next to the creek and found more nails and lots of evidence of burnt wood. We can now assume there was once some kind of wooden platform on the rockery area (perhaps a plank floor of some kind) that once may have supported a structure. We are thinking of ideas as to what it might have been if it was not a garden. Some suggestions have been a small ritual building or a meditation hut as we have seen such things in historic photos of other camps in Japan and North America. I am particularly interested in this feature and I'm hoping Jasmin can find some artifacts that will help us understand what this structure might have been used for a hundred years ago.

Dini, Alexis, Spencer K and myself were doing lab work again today (everyone else was working from home). Dini had a chance to sort through more artifacts from previous Field Schools. I took a few minutes to snap some photos of the pieces I thought were significant:

 Looks to be a pocket or utility knife. 

Pieces from a wood stove and as you can see some of the mica is still in place.  

The cap to an ink bottle 

These are either perfume or medicine bottles. We have found a few of these kinds of small glass bottles at the McKenzie Creek site.

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