Winter is Coming: The Cold Days of CAP

It’s official, winter is coming. Scratch that, it’s here. I woke up this morning to a snow dusted car and icy roads (bonus points for avoiding the fishtailing 4×4). In the best years I’m an extreme, fair weather fan of winter. By the end of August I’m usually looking forward to the cooling weather, changing leaves, and enjoying the beauty of freshly fallen snow…for about 6 weeks. By the time January roles around I’m already cursing the frigid temperatures and dreaming of the sun and sweat of summer archaeology. After last winter’s arctic blasts and record breaking snow falls, I think my tolerance this year is at an all time low. I commute an hour to campus, so the winter of 2014 was downright traumatizing.

While winter is clearly not my favorite season, and definitely not an exciting one for Michigan archaeology, it is a good time to catch up on everything. CAP had a busy summer with the discovery of the Vet Lab, shovel testing People’s Park, and an excavation of a trash pit on the LAST day of digging. The fall was equally busy with planning for our Apparitions and Archaeology Halloween event and creating the historic panels for Chittenden Hall (these will soon be displayed in  Chittenden so stop by and check them out). While I’m not looking forward to the winter weather, I am looking forward to the slower winter months.

That is not to say that we wont be busy at CAP, everyone is still working diligently on their projects. But during the cold winter months we have more time to cozy into the archives and keep warm in the lab. This may be a sad statement, but I’m excited to catch up on reports and lab work. To, not only finally have the time to devote to these endeavors, but to have enough time to do them well. I am never quite relaxed and comfortable until everything is in its proper place, labeled, cataloged, and filed.  I love fieldwork as much as the next archaeologist, but it’s calming to know that everything we find in the field properly cataloged and available for research, and not just thrown onto a shelf, never to be studied again.

Over the winter it’s my goal to finish the accessioning. Since we received official Site numbers from the State last year, we’ve been accessioning our artifacts through the MSU Museum. It is a tedious process to go through and label all the artifacts we’ve found since 2005, but it’s great to familiarize myself with every single artifact CAP has excavated. Other CAP fellows Blair and Lisa will be helping me on the accession project throughout the winter.

I should enjoy the winter while it lasts, because before I know it we’ll be planning our Summer 2015 Field School and preparing for another whirlwind summer.


Author: Kate Frederick

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