My first lab was not what I expected. I knew we were going for a brisk walk in the arb, but I was unaware of how brisk and how deep the arb truly is. All things considered, I enjoyed the walk. I got to experience some new places I didn’t know existed like the Women’s League Cabin, I saw some wildlife I never thought I would like the brown and red-bellied snakes, and I got to be outside with a group of people, something seldom done given the circumstances of the world. I actually learned a lot about the history of Carleton and how the institution has acquired its land and interacted with the local area. The potential quarry site was also interesting.
This week we began to explore the potential quarry site. This was more of a preliminary action that will eventually lead up to a deeper analysis of the area. We divided the site into a bunch of 5m by 5m grids, each grid corresponding with a team of two. One of us cleared the surface of our grid, pushing aside all natural debris such as leaves, branches, twigs, and loose rocks wile the other partner recorded the findings. This was a slow process. I feel like everyone was nervous about skipping over any potentially important finds, but, at the same time, I sensed that people also grew quite tired of the monotony in some areas, grids with zero to infinity findings alike.
The grids I started in were along the sloping edge of the site, away from the platform with the majority of the trash. I feel like because of this I failed to find much . It is likely that all the debris found at the top of the hill where the majority of the trash, stayed there. If any of it did, however, make it to the slope, it probably fell all the way down to the bottom where our grids weren’t really reaching, thus my partner and I’s findings were stunted. On the other hand there were groups working in the grids next to and within the trash. I feel like this also became monotonous because of the amount of findings of the same material objects like beer cans, shards of metal, and fragments of broken glass. This made for a repetitive/more complex collection process. The groups in these grids only took a representative sample of all the findings, but this opened up a can of worms about what could be considered representative.
This week we created Trench 2. We selected the location for the trench because there is a circular rock formation that appears to make a fire pit. I think it’ll be interesting to see what we find in such a location. I am particularly interested in what’s inside the fire pit (if it is one). I highly doubt we’ll see bones or anything of that nature, but I would expect to see charcoal. Around the pit, there are just cans and glass. All we’re doing this week is surface cleaning and not the real excavation.
This week we actually start excavation, and the finds are as expected. There were plenty of glass bottles and glass shards, metal can shards, metal can tabs, some bits of foil, and shards of plastic, but nothing spectacular. That was true until right before we wrapped up for the day, I uncovered a medium sized metal stake. It wasn’t close to the size of like a railroad stake, but it wasn’t small like a metal nail used for at home construction. It was big enough, however, to be a stake used to pin down a camping tent though. Maybe this could offer some evidence of locals participating in extracurricular outdoors activity.
This week was fun because we all got a chance to explore all the finds. I enjoyed this process because I felt like I could solve mysteries. I quickly realized however that it was tough dating some ofthose bottles. The only object i have a good estimate of is the shotgunshell casing. The only information I could pull from the bullet was the brand name “Super X”. I found through a quick google search that the brand was founded in 1995. This means that the gun activity at the site is realtively new, being max 26 years old!