Friday, 1 June 2012

May 31st: All Over the Map

Back to the field today as Alexis and Andrew continue with surveying north of the site, Mark and Ryan to the south and Spencer M to the west. They hope to complete the survey work by next week so that we can plot any features or artifacts found in the surrounding areas on a map. The map (which is Rebecca's project) will give us a clear perspective on where we are finding artifacts according to the type. For example, we will be able to tell which kinds of bottles, cans, bowls, and personal items have been found in which areas. It's important work as this information will help us develop hypotheses on how the camp was organized (housing, communal and industrial) in the early 1900's.

Rebecca, Meghan, and Nathan continued to excavate at the site and the find of the day turned out to be a tobacco tin, which was in fairly good condition. Spencer K has had some fantastic results with his electrolysis treatments on the metal artifacts, so Bob is hoping that we can implement this method on the tobacco tin to recover some diagnostics to use for dating. Bob theorizes that a small group of Japanese continued to occupy the camp after it was initially abandoned in the early 1920's. Any dates or diagnostics found on artifacts that date after about 1920 would help support this hypothesis. 

Text found on artifacts such as this shoe polish tin lid can help us build a timeline for the 
McKenzie Creek site.

This artifact (which looks a lot like a key of some sort) is actually a handle for a stove flue stopper. 
Spencer K will be applying the electrolysis method to this piece so I will post the results picture 
when it is complete.

Evan, Dini and Spencer K worked in the lab, plugging away at their projects (Evan on artifact cataloging, Dini on organizing artifacts and noting finds for public education, Spencer K on metal electrolysis chemical treatments).

Here is Evan labeling a Japanese rice bowl artifact according to it's catalog number using india ink.

If you are curious as to how our level bags (containing pieces of cultural evidence that are not categorized as artifacts) are being cataloged, the following video link shows Alexis (responsible for the level bag report) describing her process. On the SVAP, we do not use fancy digital or electronic weighing or mapping devices as we find the practical methods of using analog scales and compasses much more useful as learning tools and far more reliable.

I am hoping to get some photos of Jasmin and Willow working on their garden research projects with Cheryl Schreader, a physical geographer and Capilano University professor. She was able to visit the site to collect soil samples that will be tested for PH levels and the sediments (which change as we dig deeper) will be categorized using the Munsell Color Chart. On Monday in the lab, Cheryl, Jasmin and Willow will implement the tests and hopefully come up with some hypotheses on how and where the Japanese used garden plots at the McKenzie Creek site.

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