Excavation Update: Group One

This week’s update on the progress of excavation group four comes courtesy of ANTH60a student, David Kapaon. David is a Brandeis University undergraduate student majoring in Anthropology and Music.

Today was our third day of digging at the McGrath Farm site!  As we pulled into the driveway, we saw that the front three units had been sectioned off with some pink ribbon. This was mostly likely to make absolutely sure no one stepped into the units we had placed a couple of weeks ago. Professor Parno greeted us as usual then instructed everyone to continue working in his or her respective units.

Last week, Group One had not reached a new layer. Although layer 104 B was significantly deeper than 104 A, the soil still looked the same. We continued to dig down, until we were met with several fist-sized rock in our NE corner. After calling Professor Parno over to investigate, he concluded that they were in fact nothing significant whatsoever. Bummer. However, he poked around while he was there found an even larger rock, wedged under a stupidly large root. This had the potential to be significant so we kept an eye on it. We articulated around the rock, dug down some more and still kept hacking away at the preposterously large roots that wound their way through our square. About halfway through our day, Professor Parno noticed some yellowish sand in our SE corner. He concluded that this was either the start of a soil change (indicating a new layer) or it was the remnants of a something that had decomposed. Since we did not encounter any more of it, we assumed that it most likely the latter. We ended the day by finally closing off layer 104 B. The soil seemed to become more firm and compacted around the area where we found the larger rock, possibly indicating that we had reached the floor of a building. There was nearly 20 cm of soil between 104 B and 104 A! Since we had only minutes to spare, we quickly took elevations and pictures for 104 B hoping to start on the next layer. There ended up only being enough time to scrape a tiny bit of soil off, so we sifted that and covered up our unit.

Fragments of iron (can lip?) and glass found by Group One in Unit 104 (Op. 1)
Fragments of iron (can lip?) and glass found by Group One in Unit 104 (Op. 1)

In terms of finds, this day was definitely less exciting than others. We found one very tiny piece of glass (this one looked slightly different in color and texture from the piece of the milk bottle we found). Makalani also found a nail, and one bucket of dirt yielded a very tiny piece of metal (possibly the lip of a can).

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