Saturday, May 22, 2010

The 2010 Field Season Begins!

Classes have ended and the weather has become increasingly oppressive, which can only mean one thing: it's once again time for the UWF field school season! UWF is again offering three well-attended field schools: the Colonial Frontiers terrestrial project near Molino, Florida, the Maritime field school in Pensacola Bay, and the Arcadia Mills Village project here in Milton, Florida.

This year we hope to expand upon work done last summer. The 2009 crew uncovered evidence of a pier-supported house in the northwest portion of the Arcadia Mills property held by UWF. The 2010 crew will continue to excavate the block of units started by last year's crew, as well as open a number of other units and trenches in order to determine the nature and period of occupation of this fascinating structure.

We have an outstanding crew this year who are coping well with being thrown right into the thick of things. These brand new students are employing their recently learned techniques to tackle complex units and features, and are doing so admirably!

During the first half of the week the students were introduced to the site and taught the skills they'll need to undertake the summer's work. Fortunately, there was a large pile of re-excavated screened backfill dirt on which the new archaeologists could practice what they learned. On the above left, students practice the fine art of shovel popping. On the right, students discover the light hand necessary for preparing an excavated area for photos, also known as photocleaning.

Even though we're only at the end of Week One, the 2010 UWF crew has already made outstanding progress! Although we've only had two real day's worth of digging, the students have uncovered a host of domestic-related artifacts like a number of different types of ceramic, window glass, nails and fasteners, bottle glass, and two different molded pipebowls.

At the above left is am in situ shallow whiteware bowl or deep saucer. On the right are Arcadia field school students Trey Ropelis and Amanda Dahlberg with the molded clay pipebowl they recovered. These great finds are just the beginning of all the wonderful work that will happen this summer. Check back often for updates on our excavations and the artifacts we've found, as well as student highlights.

Next week we will be doing additional geophysical surveys in Area A. UWF graduate student Sarah Mitchell will instruct the students in the use of soil resistivity and magnetometer. The results of these surveys will help us direct our future work on the site. This promises to be an exciting summer, and we can't wait to share it with you!

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