CAP Field School: Week Three

CAP Field School: Week Three

Since having the large tree roots removed last week, Cooper and I have been able to work much faster in Unit B. Despite having the large roots that haunted us from the beginning removed, the remnants of the former tree hadn’t given up. As we went deeper, however, we kept finding more and more roots until eventually, we came across two very large roots that extended across the entire unit. Since we were no strangers to digging around roots, this surprise didn’t delay our progress too much. Although it was frustrating, our prior experience had prepared us and allowed us to react accordingly. We knew how to dig around the roots and complete levels without taking them out, even though we desperately wanted to rip them out. The frustrations I experienced with the roots, however, made it so much more satisfying when we finally cut them out. After finishing level 5, the roots were visible enough to cut out without disturbing the floor of our unit. Although I didn’t personally cut the roots out (shout out to Cooper, who did all the root work), it was so satisfying to see how clean our unit was without them. We had dealt with having roots in our unit throughout the entire field school and it was weird to see our unit looking so clean. I’m sure we will run into more roots eventually and we will know how to handle them but for the time being, I’m going to enjoy our clean, rootless unit.

Cement feature running along Unit B's south wall.
Cement feature running along Unit B’s south wall.

Although we found many roots, we haven’t been finding many artifacts. After finding the layer of nails and metal artifacts that I discussed in my blog post last week, we’ve only come across a few nails, some bits of glass, and some mortar. It has been a little disappointing to screen bucket after bucket and find nothing, I won’t lie. However, we did find something very exciting… ANOTHER WALL! Maybe. When recording previous levels, we had noticed that the soil along our south wall was significantly lighter than the rest. While shovel skimming, Cooper noticed something solid and we used our trowels and brushes to uncover a wall that runs east to west along our south wall. However, this wall is a little different than the walls that Units A and D have come across. Their walls connect and were made with larger rocks. Our wall looks more like old concrete and is a little deeper than the other walls. Due to these differences, we think this may have been part of a sidewalk or walkway as opposed to a foundation wall. Since discovering this wall, we have gone down two more levels, 20 cm, and we still haven’t reached the bottom. It will be quite interesting to see how deep it goes and see if we find any other parts of the structure. Artifacts are always cool to find, but learning about the structure of a building on my own campus is a unique experience that I can only have during this field school. Finding these structures has also helped me to focus on the larger context of the site as opposed to simply just focusing on the artifacts in my unit. With only a little over a week left, I feel like we still have a lot more to learn about Station Terrace however, these past three weeks have been a great learning experience and have solidified my plans to continue archaeology in the future.

Another view of the cement feature along Unit B's south wall.
Another view of the cement feature along Unit B’s south wall.

Author: Desiree Quinn

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