This week we surveyed multiple sites and were shown where past classes had done projects. We walked through the Arb and observed several sites to let us have a variety of choices for what we wanted to focus on as a class. Personally, I was fascinated by the old woman’s athletics cabin and how it was demolished to prevent risk and partying instead of preserved in some way. It shows that Carleton genuinely cares about creating a community space that is safe. Getting to explore several sites instead of having one chosen for us to focus on is something I really appreciate cause it means we have a better understanding of the potential sites just on the Carleton campus, and the variety you can find there.
This week despite poor weather conditions we walked the large field near the Recreation center, while we didn’t discover much the amount of findings in one area led to a theory that there used to be a farmhouse there that was demolished after Carleton bought the property. Covering the whole area took several hours but we did it and brought back a variety of items from the farmhouse site but almost nothing from anywhere else. If we wanted to repeat the process to get further coverage I would say do a survey of just the farmhouse area and collect anything missed in the first pass.
This week after group discussion between Alex and the Class, we instead of continuing surveying the farm house site we went to survey the quarry site which our class had a lot more interest in after hearing about it from the Wednesday lab. The quarry site took a while to find but the first Survey of it found signs of students drinking and having fires in the area as well as older stone cuts and interesting cans that dated back decades. We bagged several samples but it seemed to be an interesting site and we were much more excited about it then the farm House. We created a grid and drawing of the area for the initial survey and got a basic understanding and written account of the site.I was with the survey group and scouted the surrounding area seeing the nearby pond and finding a variety of wildlife including snakes and frogs. I was surprised to see how alive and vibrant the area was.Me and my team made a general drawing of the area so that we could in the future use it to plan out the site excavation and survey.
This week I was in the collection team for the actual firepit survey site. We spent the entire time working on sorting and collecting the large amount of cans artifacts and trash that had accumulated over time in the fire-pit. There was a lot of class cans and trash that all contributed to a general timeline for how long the site had been in use as you could see the beer cans and brand logos change over time. It showed how this had been a drinking and meeting site for at least decades. It was a long task but satifying our group managed to actually sort out then entire survey site collecting all the glass cans and bottles documenting all the variety and timeline establishing data which was arduious but effective. We took a sample of each type of artifact before we left and left all the sorted items behind that were extra examples of documented artifacts.
This week I was in the excavation team for the structure used to redirect the water flow so the quarry could be built. We dug a hole in the side of the Trench wall and excavated a large amount of sandy material we had several members of the Arb staff including Nancy Braker come and help us identify information about the trench mostly about the material we were excavating calling it sandy Loom and helping us identify information about it.
This week I was involved in the Excavation in the center of the quarry site exposing the cut rock beneath the Top soil layer, We carefully excavated the top layer of soil to show what was below the top layer of our site. it was a slow process as we were trying to limit our impact on the surrounding trees and wildlife as much as possible meaning we had to work around roots and slowly make our way to the Rock layer without cutting or harming larger plant life. Compared to the previous week it was a lot more slow careful effort and careful excavation instead of just moving lots of material to get to the next layer.
This week was artifact analysis my group was focused on glass, ceramics, and the bricks and concrete from the farm house. In order to identify the glass and ceramic shards found in the site, we had to look up manufacturing dates, and when certain styles of ceramic and glass were sold. The founding of corporations and when certain types of bottle tops were standardized in production due to state laws changing were useful in identification. Certain styles were created and then replicated, so finding the first date that the ceramics could have been created was easier than narrowing down the date it was actually left at the site.
Common mass production methods of bricks and concrete had to be researched to identify when the raw materials of the house that was field surveyed were made. There was no actual marker of make, so we could only go off the material itself for identification. This meant we had a wide date range.
I spent a lot of time washing and actually looking for signs that could be used to identify the artifacts while my group members documented and researched the stuff online it took and while but was satisfying to acomplish.
We continued our artifact analysis and started our final projects I helped with research for our projects timeline looking at cans and research already done on them using dating and research to create descriptions for use on the timeline and map we are making.