15 July, 1998

07/15/98 A Day digging Test Pits

*** Up at 7 - a gasoline barge coming in - 10 hours of test pit digging - the town showers and laundry reopens ***

Today's arrival of the gasoline barge finishes the town's restocking of fuel. I spent all day with the bulk of the crew digging test pits. The pits are 1-meter square and anywhere from .5 to 1 meter deep. The pits are spaced 1 to 2 meters apart and are located along the centerline of the future sewer line. The purpose of the pits is to help better understand stratigraphic units (soil layers) and to ascertain the likelihood of important archeology in certain locations. The stratigraphy was fascinating, the artifacts were few and the work was strenuous. During the day the village showers and laundry reopened. They had been closed while the village water tank was being cleaned. After we finished work and dinner (about 8:30) Aaron and I went to take a shower at the village facility. Tomorrow I am going to try and pull off a laundry.


My wrist is starting to get sore. Tim and I were discussing it, and we reached the conclusion that we have moved three or more tons of dirt and gravel over the past four days, with a small trowel. After four days, ten hours a day, my wrist and elbow feel like I've just pitched 500 curve balls without warming up. It hurts, but not in a bad way.

Today I was trying to expose a 500-year-old house that had been placed inside twelve hundred-year-old human graves. The graves had already been removed, but the house is still there. It's a real puzzle to picture what exactly happened and which artifacts belong to which people.

Ryan Peterson, cultural resource specialist, sketching test pits.

Stephanie Barr digging a test pit.

Alvin Iyatunguk excavating human remains.

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