Week 2 (Wednesday Lab)

Our second week seemed to have a main focus on introducing us to archaeological research. It is important for us to understand the work that is required away from the excavation sites, away from the tools, away from the surveys, we need to understand the general information of what we find. This includes having the knowledge of where and how to quickly access the information you need, but also the importance of recording data and keeping artifacts so that those who come after you can progress further. To prepare us for this, we read about the type of research archaeologists need to be ready to do, and we also read about Documentary Archaeology, which helped to open our minds to just how many different kinds of sources can be used when learning about the past, especially if the past does not seem clear.

Our lab for this week brought us to the Carleton Archives in the library. This was a massive collection of sources, varying in quality, age, and even type. They had old yearbooks, newspapers, little notes, pictures, and some things we didn’t even know what they were. This, again, helped us better realize just how many resources are available to archaeologists, which otherwise I am sure we would have never thought to take advantage of.

We talked about the Waterford Mill, which will be the main focus of our labs later on in the course. We also read about the history of the general Northfield area. These, as well as our visit to the Archives, helped us in our assignment to research something/somewhere in Northfield that we found interesting, write about what we found and list the various (hopefully) sources that we used. This allowed was our first big exercise of our archaeological muscles, that drew on our newly acquired knowledge of where to find plentiful and legitimate information.