Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 60--The Mother of All Test Pits

We've spent most of the week digging the mother of all test pits, see the picture or pictures I've posted. this one is 15 meteres X 4 meteres X 1 1/2 meteres, even accounting for the slumps on the sides which are inevitable, we still figure we excavated 60 cubic meteres of gravel. This is no small feat. The idea was to see how far the driftwood feature extended back from the bluff, we dug it about 10 meters from the back edge of the driftwood feature, so there is a 6-7 meter berm between the two, which also may have to go or we can expand it to the sides going east and west--we'll see.
Mostly the weather has been, as they say, variable. For all the days except Wed, it was cold, cloudy or foggy, and windy. Wednesday was beautiful, 40-45 sunny, little or no wind, got a good shot of Adam napping on his Honda. We've been using the Honda's as loading platforms, to haul away buckets of gravel, 3 on the back, 3 on the front and one in each foot well, each bucket weights about 50+ pounds, maybe even 60-70 depending on how full they are so the Honda's are hauling 400+ pounds on each load.
Thursday was spent mostly excavating 2 faux burials, vegatative mounds, that usually indicate burials but in this case weren't--Friday, I spent in the lab with two folks from the dental clinic who brought over their portable X-Ray machine and we tried to take x-rays of the available excavated burials with dentition. Out of the potential 26 burials, we got 4 done, the learning curve got pretty steep for awhile, and we'll see if any useful information actually gets produced. Problems were, bringing the pediatric film instead of the adult film, having only one box of film, 75, which we used up on the four burials, aiming the x-ray gun at the mandible with the full box of x-ray film right behind it, possibly exposing the unexposed film, setting the angle of the gun so Vera was sitting in the direct line of fire, etc. The conditions at the point were(I was told) very cold, and they two PI's in charge were guageing the wind strength with a portable anamometer at 22MPH and decided if it picked up to 35 MPH, it was quitting time, as at 35 the gravel gets picked up by the wind and acts like shotgun pellets whipping across the landscape. Got a decent picture of Angelique who is one of the elders in residence here who makes masks out of caribou skin, wolf fur, seal fur etc, marvelous pieces of native art.

1 comment:

summer widow said...

knowing you, you probably used all the film. That doesn't surprise me. Bur if you got good shots, tht's important. Angelique has a wonderful face!