Sunday, October 27, 2013

Field Study: Jessamine County, Kentucky archaeological dig

Students in the Curatorial Studies class were fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Stephen McBride and his colleagues—Cathy, Todd, and Sarah—this past Saturday. We went down to Jessamine County to participate in a field study -- literally, in the field. We went on an archaeological dig. Through this work, we learned about the importance of material culture that is underground, as so much of our work has been spent this semester on those objects already in archives and collections.

Dr. McBride establishes context for the site. 

Dr. McBride gives instructions as to our teams and parameters of the dig.

Each unit is given a bag for collecting their items.

Caity and Steven are selecting tools and gloves to begin work

Joey begins dumping dirt from Unit 24. 

An early find from Unit 24- likely a piece of chert

Here is a later find from Unit 24- a fossil that was discarded.
We're interested in non-natural items!

Dr. Wargelin, who joined us for the day,
switches places with me (from digging to sieving)

Shelby, Kendall, and I are
digging deeper and looking for coal, nails, glass, chert, and
so on—evidence of our predecessors' stay on this land.

Steven, of course, locates a large piece of glass embedded and
cracked, though a great artifact from the other Unit.

Dr. McBride examines some of the items being uncovered.

A view of our entire site
Joey found a nail!

Our giddy team at the conclusion of our site visit. 
Thank you for this amazing experience, Dr. McBride. I look forward to working with you again!


Shelbs said...

This was such a fun trip. It was awesome getting a hands on experience, and getting to find objects that would end up in archive, rather than just assessing them.

Earl Grey said...

What a great way to look at this project, Shelbs. Despite the cold, we did have a good time and we learned a lot, too.