Fall 2022 Lab Summaries

This page collects the weekly blog posts written by students over the course of fieldwork during the Fall 2022 field season. These blog posts detail each of our weekly labs, including student summaries, reflections, photographs, data, and interpretations.

Posts appear in descending chronological order, with the most recent post appearing at the top of the page.


Fall 2022 Field Season

  • Week 10
  • Week 9
  • Week 8
  • Week 7
  • Week 6
  • Week 5
  • Week 4
  • Week 3
  • Week 2

Week 2

Kaija Maier

The primary focus of Week 2’s lab was to learn how to map and investigate an archaeological site prior to collecting artifact data (sometimes called “site reconnaissance”). We learned how to use GNSS (global navigation satellite systems) and how to identify surface artifacts such as glass, metal, ceramics, and butchered animal bones. We also focused on clearing vegetation, brush, and forest debris from building foundations and future excavation locations. 

We began the lab by first meeting in the classroom and learning about GNSS.  It was here that Wei-Hsin Fu, the Director of Carleton’s GIS Lab, went over basic mapping with us, in addition to how to use and understand GNSS and GPS (Global Positioning System) to map archaeological sites. We will use a handheld GNSS from Trimble, called GeoExplorer, to collect data this term. After learning how to use the handheld devices inside, we practiced taking points and lines on Carleton’s campus. After a brief period of practicing, we brought ourselves and our tools to the Olin Farm Site where we began surveying the surface and uncovering more of the machine shed. The members of our class spread out across the chosen site and began to clear away the thin layer of dirt and weeds covering the walls and floor of what was once the machine shed. The goal of this lab was to begin finding the boundary of the building, in order to gain a better understanding of how this space was used.

Our class spent much of the time uncovering a cement ramp that was part of the machine shed (Figure 1). In doing so, we discovered many artifacts and features of interest. This included metal door hinges and even some baby mice! When something was found, it was marked by students using a neon pin flag, so as to make it easily identifiable when we come back to the site next week. We also took time to walk around the site and found and marked the location of many partially hidden pieces of broken ceramic and glass (Figures 2 and 3). We were able to uncover many feet of concrete flooring in the machine shed, which went much further back into the trees than we thought was possible. We marked the edge of this flooring with a line of flags and hope to finish uncovering it during our next lab. We will also look at historic insurance documents from 1941 that list the size and dimensions of the machine shed, to estimate the portion of the shed that is still uncovered (see Figure 4). We left the site at the end of the day covered in pin flags, awaiting further study.