Week 8 Summary

This week during lab we moved out of the field and back into the classroom and began to examine the artifacts that we have collected over the past several weeks. First, we divided into groups to cover materials from each of our major areas of focus: field survey, grid survey, shovel test pits, and excavation trenches. It was important to ensure that there was at least one person from the project group focusing on artifacts and material history in each group. From there, we chose our groups, with two groups concentrating on grid survey and one group for each of the other areas.

This is the beginning of the recording stage. We would need to identify all of our materials in a Google document including information on their type, quantity, location, and lot. We created folders for each location (trench, STP, grid survey, and field survey) within which we made a sheet formatted for us to record each and every artifact found. We entered each item into the document, ordering them numerically and alphabetically and ensuring that bags remained correctly labeled. Each group made a detailed catalog of each and every artifact that was found and recorded the collection unit, lot, material, quantity, typology, use and function as well as a description of each piece of artifact.

Next, it was time to get a closer look at our materials. Groups opened up their bags to identify the artifacts and begin researching materials. Our goal was to learn what we could about our finds. Several items needed to be cleaned and dried to be clearly seen. These we removed from bags, washed off, and placed on trays. We created scales and labels and photographed each item for our records.

When we had finished the recording process, some groups began researching their items. For example, the excavation group put together pieces of glass that they found in Trench 1, context 3 and it turned out to be some form of a glass serving tray. The group researched what type of glass that might be to try and figure out what the tray was and did not find out much about it but the research is underway. Different types of building materials that include many different types of brick were found, along with blocks of asphalt. Other groups also researched different types of building materials that they found, pieces of glass, bones and a lot of other types of discoveries and findings. It is safe to say that by the end of the week, the recording process was complete for the most part and groups are now in the research and analysis stage of recording and recovering meaning from the artifacts and materials found.


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