Saturday, July 4, 2009

Geophysical survey and excavation units

We had a particularly busy week of geophysical survey and opening up excavation units. Once all of the clearing was complete, we decided to conduct a resistivity survey in Area A of the site. Dr. Victor Thompson, University of West Florida, came out and conducted a resistivity survey in two 20 meter by 20 meter grids. We set up the resistivity grid by shooting in the corners with a total station so we could make sure we had perfect 20 meter by 20 meter squares. The students then staked-in meter tapes that created lanes for the resistivity machine (shown here).

The geophysical survey went very well considering the rough terrain of Area A. We decided against Ground Penetrating Radar because the rough terrain and abundant roots would negatively affect the data.

After the geophysical survey, we set up two 1 meter by 2 meter units to excavate. Though we haven't received the geophysical results, we wanted to open two small units so the combination students could experience unit excavation before they switch to maritime field school on Monday, July 6th.

On Friday, we got to the bottom of level 1 in both units. The units are dug in 10 cm arbitrary levels by shovel shaving with a square shovel. Unit 1 yielded lots of artifacts including a large number of whiteware sherds, metal, brick fragments, and glass fragments. Shown to the left, a pearlware plate base that was recovered in level 1 of Unit 1.
Unit 2 was started later in the day so we managed to get the root mat off by the end of work hours. We are excited to continue excavating and see what we find! We are within the area of domestic concentrations, so we hope to find plenty more ceramics, glass, and building materials!

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