Sunday, June 27, 2010

Soggy Site

A series of thunderstorms from Wednesday to Thursday dumped over an inch of rain on our beloved site. We were forced to 'bug-out' on Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 pm as an impressive thunderstorm approached us rapidly from the northwest. We were so busy packing up equipment and taking down our canopies that we didn't even feel the minor earthquake that came through about that time--what a dedicated crew!

We spent part of Thursday morning bailing water out of the units. This is a vital task that must be learned by all budding archaeologists; the trick is to get as little water on yourself as possible and to avoid slipping on the slick plastic tarps.

The upside of all this is that, because all but one of our currently open units were much too wet to excavate, we were forced to open up two new 3 x 3 meter units eastward along the transect. The wet remnants of the plow zone soil shoveled off rather easily and the weather was cool. Soon the subsoil was reached, and we were met with a wealth of possible post molds and some very interesting-looking feature stains (note some of the dark stains in the image above). One unit, 508N 515E came down on several distinct pit features that had shown up as half of a huge magnetic anomaly during the geophysical survey--mag anomaly no. 79 for those of you keeping score. More on this and other new discoveries later. A muddy time was had by all.