This is the End…

I expected today’s post, the last of the field season, to be fairly boring. I was going to say things like “we spent the day backfilling.” There wasn’t supposed to be excavation today. But of course, I forgot the first rule of archaeology. You ALWAYS find the best/coolest stuff on the last day…

Today did start out fairly straightforward. We got an early start (5:30 am!) to avoid the hottest part of the day. Megan, Lori, Dr. Cameron, Dr. Lekson, and I back filled the great kiva, while Erin and John worked on cleaning and photographing Units 5 and 18, which contained two pithouses and an above ground cobble wall. We made great progress, and were done filling in the great kiva by 8:30.

More backfilling

More backfilling

While cleaning the floor of Unit 5, Erin noticed the rim of a ceramic vessel. At first we were confused, because we had removed all artifacts that were sitting on the floor of the pithouse in Unit 5. This rim appeared to go under the floor. Although we were ready to backfill, I decided to excavate the vessel. After a little brushing and scraping with the trowel, it appeared that we had found another small bowl, which had been sunk into the floor. So, I began removing fill from the “bowl”. Removing fill quickly revealed that my initial assessment was wrong. There was not a bowl in the floor, but a large olla, which had been sunk into the floor! Thus, the opening to the vessel was right at the level of the floor, and the large body was subfloor, and likely served as storage.

Excavating the olla put us an hour and a half behind schedule. Thus, we did not finish backfilling until 1:30. For those of you not following the weather in southwest New Mexico, it has been HOT down here for the past few days. Today was no exception; when we left the site the temperature was 103 (a little cooler from 107 we had yesterday). Still, we were able to finish backfilling, and wrap up at the site.

The crew working hard

The crew working hard

So, we just finished another very successful summer at the site. Today was bittersweet; it was the last day I will work at Woodrow Ruin (for the foreseeable future, at least). I can’t believe how successful the project was. I really cannot thank the crew enough. Kyle, Josh, Greg, and Mary also deserve special thanks, for volunteering their time and supplies and driving from Silver City to help us backfill in the middle of the recent heat wave. I also need to thank April, Eleanor, and Merritt for the excellent accommodations.

While this is the end of my excavation at Woodrow, my work really is only just beginning. I must now analyze everything, and write my dissertation. Although blog updates will no longer be regular, I will post every once in a while to share what I have found. Thanks for reading, and for your support of research at Woodrow Ruin!



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