Becca Riess

Tuesday Lab Week 2 Journal 

During this week’s lab we went on a tour of Carleton’s Arboretum. We visited four different historically significant places that are located in or near the Arb. First we visited the remains of Waterford Mill located on the Canon river. The only remains that we saw were the small damm we used as a trail to the edge of the river, and a couple of concrete blocks along the bank and in the river. Next, we walked to Waterford Bridge which has been out of use for a little over 10 years (if i remember correctly). Following that stop we made our way to the site where the Women’s League Cabin used to stand. Now there was just a small pile of rubble, however there seemed to be a fire pit that was still in regular use nearby. Finally we made our way back towards the main part of Carleton campus. We stopped at a field near the driving range and MJ explained how visual field work would be done on a field like this. After this short break we finished on the field behind Goodhue at the former site of WWII vetern housing. We saw some metal posts that once were a part of those structures. I believe after this a smaller group of the class went to tour the Archaeology Lab in Andersen, however MJ said that we were free to go. 

Tuesday Lab Week 3 Journal

During this week’s lab we started in the Archaeology Lab in Andersen. We talked about the practicalities involved in field surveys and how aerial photography can help us identify certain sites or give better context. We looked at images of the field we would survey later in the class which is behind the hill of three oaks, adjacent to the softball fields. There used to be a farmhouse on that property that has been torn down. In the one of the images we could clearly see a different rectangle leveling in one corner of the field where the house used to be. After distributing the necessary materials for field walking we made our way over to the field, at this point it was snowing (not very pleasant). Once we got to the field we practiced pacing 10 meters, this was pretty easy for me since I am used to measuring distances with my steps by taking one meter steps for measuring distances between poles and jumps for horseback riding. We split into two groups: A and B. I was in group B and we lined up 10 meters apart and started scanning a two meter width of ground. Staying in a straight line and equidistant from one another was harder than anticipated, especially being in the middle where i was never sure if i was the one moving or if the people around me were drifting. Unfortunately I found np artifacts and in general group B found very little. Group A on the other hand found different bricks, metals, and plastics in the former location of the house. After we finished walking the field we headed back to the lab and filed away the paperwork and artifacts that were found. Luckily at this point it had stopped snowing. 

Tuesday Lab Week 4 Journal

During this week’s lab we worked on gridded site surveying. At first the plan was to go back to the farm house field we had surveyed last week, however as a class we decided it would be more fun and exciting to go to a quarry that the Arb director found in the arb. After leaving the main path and weaving through various trees and shrubs we made it to the quarry. We saw there was a bit of a trash dump where old rusted beer cans and various broken glass bottles were scattered. The rock face did not match the rest of the surrounding landscape leading us to believe it was man made. We decided to set up a grid (which was not an easy task considering the amount of bushes and other plant growth in the area. First we decided to use a tree near a prominent stone as our starting point and laid out a North/South line with one of the tape measures. Then from the same tree we laid out an East/West line. I, along with Sam and Neil, were in charge of laying out the parallel grid squares. We decided to make each square 5×5 meters within the total area of 20x20m giving us 16 grid squares. After some crawling and climbing we were able to mark all the intersections with tape. During this time other groups were scouting the rest of the area to try to get a better idea of the layout, collecting and recording found artifacts, and maping out our survey area. In general I really enjoyed this experience (and not just because it was not snowing) and look forward to seeing what else we will find.