Today was my first day at the excavation site and my first coating of Bridge River dirt. I wasn’t allowed into the pit house yet because I have to be smudged by the spiritual leader of the community. This has been explained to me as an introduction to the ancestors. So I stayed on the rim and sharpened my trowel. Which sucks. It takes FOREVER. I still haven’t finished and my fingers have blisters. However the first sharpening is the worst and it won’t be like this every time. When I wasn’t sharpening my trowel I got to try my hand at sifting. I got covered in dirt and found lithics, fish bones and the most exciting being a large canine tooth! It was kind of an initiation! While sifting, I learned a quick review of how to recognize different elements and the procedure of recording everything. As well as the spit test. Pretty much as gross as it sounds. You spit in your hand and grab a little bit of the dirt that you sifted and try to roll it into a worm. The purpose being to determine the ratio of silt, sand and clay. I also got a run down on the site and the work that has been done there previously. A lot of information, that only added to my excitement about starting my first excavation!
Once back at camp, I got to shower! which is quite the luxury for only one day’s worth of dirt. We have shower rotations that only give us a shower every three days…yikes!! We also rotate laundry, cleaning, and cooking. Dinner followed by a group meeting for the four incoming students/TA’s rounded out the evening. It’s a little intimidating because I’m one of only two undergrads, but that just exposes me to more people with more experience in the field. And that can’t be bad!
I won’t be posting any pictures of the site or the artifacts because they belong to the Bridge River Community. I will try to post pictures of camp and other aspects of this adventure!
Home Sweet Home for the next 3 and 1/2 weeks!
**I blogged regularly during the field school on a separate blog. I will be posting three of them on this one, but if anyone is interested in reading some more click here **