Reflections on two weeks of field school

Campus Archaeology Program (CAP) has been one of the most exciting and engaging learning experiences I have ever had. We are still on Week 2, but I feel like I have learned a lot through this field school. I have always been a visual and physical learner. So, in a way, this has been perfect for me. I cannot say that it has been easy, but it has been pretty great.

Dr. Goldstein explains how to lay out a perfect 2m x 2m grid for an excavation unit.

Dr. Goldstein explains how to lay out a perfect 2m x 2m grid for an excavation unit.

One of the main things that I have struggled with since choosing Anthropology as my major is deciding what to do with this degree and where to find opportunities to gain experience that will prepare me for life after graduation. As I looked for opportunities, one of my anthropology professors encouraged me to participate in CAP. I never imagined myself getting my hands dirty and digging in the dirt.  I have always been an indoors person and this experience has pushed me to step out of my comfort zone.  It takes a lot of determination and perseverance to do this job, and knowing that there will be days when we will not find anything. Having said that, I have really come to appreciate the arduous effort that it takes to be a good archaeologist.

Well, it is almost the end of week 2 and I am glad I signed up for this. Through this experience, I have learned to pay close attention to detail. Everything that is part of the environment  influences everything around it. That helps us understand how everything affects its surroundings and how we can interpret it. I have also learned to be meticulous when screening dirt. Even though most of the buckets of dirt that I have screened are made up of rocks and clay, I have been able to find rusty, old nails, a couple pieces of ceramic, and a couple pieces of glass. Sure, I am still hoping to find some type of cool bone, but any finding that can reveal a piece of history from the past is also great. One of the main things is to be gentle with the shovel and trowel. We never know what is hiding in the dirt 1 cm below the surface. So being careful is important so that, in the case that something valuable is hiding there, we can avoid damaging it.

An essential aspect of this field school is team work. Being able to work with a colleague and communicate with them is key. The work everyone does is equally significant to the success of the excavation. I am happy to say that all of the students participating of CAP this year work so well together. Even though we did not know each other prior to the field school, we now have this common experience that links us together and makes us the 2017 CAP family.

Thank you, everyone, for reading our blogs. I look forward to sharing more of my experience in CAP next week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *