Neil Givens


The focus of the lab on this Tuesday was to gain surveying experience by fieldwalking. We chose a field in the Upper Arboretum to conduct a field survey on. With the space chosen, we examined satellite images and LiDAR maps in the classroom to get an understanding of where we might find items of interest. We identified an area on the LiDAR map that appeared to show an area of terraformed ground that lined up with where a farmhouse used to be. With this information, we headed out to the Arboretum to the location of the field. Here, we practiced our pacing to discover how many of our steps approximated 10 meters. Then we divided into two survey groups, with my group being tasked with surveying the north part of the field, and the second group being assigned the southern portion. From here, we divided the field into 6 transects that were 50 m by 100 m, allowing each group to take three of these sections to cover the whole field.

With everything organized, and armed with bags to collect our finds, we set off to walk our lines. Each person on the team was 10 meters away from the next person, with each person covering a 2 meter wide region. We slowly progressed through the field, while being assailed by snow and strong winds. We found a number of bricks and concrete in the first part of the first section that we surveyed. After about the first 30 meters, our finds tapered off, and after the first of the three regions we found nothing. The other group did not find the bricks and cement that we did, and instead only found two artifacts during the entire survey. After collecting our finds we labelled them by survey section and group, separating our objects by type of material. With the field surveyed, we retreated from the elements back to the lab, were we once again catalogued our finds, in order to make sure we did not lose anything. Our survey of the field backed up our idea of a farmhouse existing in the north-east corner of the field, as this was where we found all of the building materials.


In lab on April 6, 2021, we had the goal of touring the Cowling Arboretum in order to visit several archaeologically notable sites. First we met at the Arboretum office and walked north to the site of the old Waterford Mill that was demolished due to disuse. Little remained of the once important mill. Then, we followed the Cannon River north-east to the Waterford Bridge, which was a large steel bridge that was used until the 1990s when it was closed to vehicular traffic. From there, we walked south along Canada Ave past several residences until turning back into the Arb. We quickly entered the Arb and found the site of the demolished Women’s League Cabin that was built in the 1930s but later demolished due to it being unsafe for the amount of use it was receiving. We left the Arboretum and went back to Canada Ave before continuing to Division Street, which we walked down until reaching the Upper Arboretum. Here, we turned onto Spring Creek Road before finally turning west back towards campus. We walked across the fields above the Rec Center until we were right above Goodhue Dormitory. This was the location of temporary housing for veterans returning to Carleton after fighting in World War II. This was the last stop in the Arboretum tour, which ended at this point.