Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Archaeology Episode. The first thing we did at work was to have Sam take us up to the roof of the adjoining 11-story building so I could take some overhead shots of our excavation.

Boarding house foundation, circa 1890s.

I needed pictures before we removed a section of the foundation to uncover the rest of a 1000-year-old pithouse. There were immense rocks to move- some were over two feet in diameter. I'm so glad I have plastic mesh in my insides to keep my intestines from bulging out.

In another area we are opening a trench through yet another trash-filled adobe mining pit from the 1890s- they loved to dig holes to make mud-bricks and they loved to fill them with often interesting garbage.

Chinese or Japanese teapot.

I drove people crazy by pointing out several salient features of this artifact. "Look, it's short and stout. Here is the handle, here is the spout!"


The 1890s saw the Aesthetic style, with a huge influence from Asia. The style of decoration of ceramics switched from scenes of castles and ruins to vignetes of sampans, bamboo, insects, fans, and birds, often elaborately piled up on top of each other.

Gin bottle.

Most of the glass bottles we find don't have labels- these decompose quickly. However, for some reason a small number survive. This Black Friars gin bottle has an image of a monk and also text indicating it won a medal in a health competition in 1884.

Alright, we now return to our normal programming. In tomorrow's episode I'm off to see that queer cowboy movie.

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