Another Day, Another 10 bags (give or take) of Artifacts

The crew washing artifacts at the end of the day

The crew washing artifacts at the end of the day

Archaeologists have to wear many hats. We need to know a little about geology, osteology, geometry, and many other “-ogy’s”. We also have to be artists (to a certain extent). Today, Lonnie and Erin got to practice their art skills. They spent most of their day drawing the north and east profiles of Unit 5. For non-archaeologists, a profile is the flat face of an excavation unit. We draw profiles so that we have a record of the stratigraphy in the unit. This is important because after we leave the field it will tell us how deep a floor was, how deep trash fill was, etc. Sometimes profiles are straightforward and east to draw. The profiles for unit 5 are not, and they also are two meters tall. Erin and Lonnie did a great job though! Once profiling was done, they established a new unit, Unit 18, directly north of Unit 5. This is another 1 x 2 meter unit stacked directly north of Unit 5. We chose to dig here because we think it will reveal more of the center part of the room. Lonnie and Erin (and anyone else who excavates in Unit 5) have their work cut out for them though; we know they have to dig through 2 meters of fill to reach the rooffall.

Erin and Lonnie profiling

Erin and Lonnie profiling

A new unit was also established in the great kiva today. We were able to do this because we found a surface at the bottom of Unit 15. This is the same surface that we first saw in Unit 12. While we didn’t find any artifacts on the surface, we did find some interesting breaks in the surface. A piece of the surface is missing in the center of the unit; at this point it is not exactly clear why the surface is missing, yet there is no evidence the missing floor was caused by a hearth or posthole. The missing surface may be part of a groove cut into the floor. As expected, we also found the surface missing in the northeast 1/3rd of the unit. This matches the break in the surface we found in Unit 12, and the lack of surface in Unit 9. Once we exposed the surface we photographed and documented it, then covered it back up. Eventually, we will remove the baulk between the units and fully expose the surface. However, the longer it can stay covered and protected, the better. Our plan now is to excavate a new unit, Unit 19, directly east of Unit 12 (creating a trench from our first two units). We hope to expose more of the surface with this unit, and possibly identify a wall of the great kiva.

Surface in Unit 5, facing west

Surface in Unit 15, facing west

Eventually, we will figure out what is going on in the adobe-cobble room. Today, however, once again brought confusion. What we thought was a corner seems not to be. We did, however, identify more of the surface, and found a piece of shell and a crystal on it. However, the surface is not as nice as the previously exposed surface in the area. By tomorrow we hope to have the surface completely exposed for much of the adobe room. Hopefully, we will finally begin to understand the layout of this structure.

The Archaeology Southwest/University of Arizona Preservation Archaeology Field School visited us at Woodrow today. They are actually working close to us this year, at the Dinwiddie site. It was great showing around the site to students for the first time, and I look forward to seeing what they find at Dinwiddie!

The Preservation Archaeology Field School checking out Woodrow Ruin

The Preservation Archaeology Field School checking out Woodrow Ruin



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