Sunday, March 23, 2014

Field school 2014. We headed south, almost to the Mexican border, to excavate at the Spanish Mission site. About a dozen students, some graduate students, Barney, Jeremy, Jeffords, and a few others.

I kept forgetting my camera so not as many archaeology pictures as usual.

Excavating our first unit.

Out first unit was a bust- we thought we might be in an early farming portion of the site, but we had Hohokam pottery all the way down to the layer of cobbles.

Back at the ranch, we set up tents and I visited with the animals.

Curious chicken.

It is spring here in Arizona and the wildflowers and fruit trees are blooming.

Cherry tree.

We re-opened the unit from last year.

Teaching leaf blower skills.

At night it was cold and I slept poorly. I had hoped the eye allergies that have plagued me would stop, but they didn't.


Every night our caterer Emily and her assistant Yvonne served us supper. So nice to be spoiled. Our ranch host was Dean, a really nice man.

Dean and Barney.

We opened another unit in the mystery structure. We found a burned beam and latillas, and fire-hardened mud with latilla impressions.


Some days were windy and the ranch's windmill spun round and round.


One night I visited with the three miniature burros. They were very cute.

Best buds.

The sun sets quickly and the moon was so bright I could see what color my shirt was in my tent.

Another sunset.

The students were fun and learned how to do their archaeology work well.

Fabiola, Lily, and Kristen.

Close to the floor of the structure we found some cattle bone.

Barney uncovering a cattle skull fragment.

Jeremy showed up from Santa Fe and I put him to work uncovering a large stone near the structure.

Jeremy and stone.

It had a circular hole through it.

Preparing for a photo.

We flipped it over and measured and photographed it before putting it back. It is a "killed" metate, with a hole smashed through it. Who knows for what reason.


Among the wild flowers were many poppies, my favorite.


As work progressed, we found the corner of the room.


James, a student from last year, arrived to help out. It was nice to see him.

James, Fabiola, Catelyn, and Alex.

A calf was in the pen next to the turkeys, it wasn't sure whether to like me.


I finally bought a pad, but by the end of the week I was just worn out from lack of sleep. And I snored so loud people could hear me at the campfire.


Dean rode up on Scruffy and examined our mystery area and agreed that it was probably a corral.

Dean and Scruffy.

We thought lines of vegetation were adobe wall alignments, but they turned out to be trenches for a post and (probably) wattle fence. We used a t-shaped probe to locate the trenches in two areas.

James probing.

We marked the trench locations with pin flags so they can be mapped next Saturday.

Trench location.

Two more Saturdays of fieldwork and then the students analyze the artifacts and features we found for their presentations and papers. Science! 

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