Lest you think it’s all fun and games…

Hi All,

The Field School students had their final exam tonight, so I thought I’d cut them a break on blogging and fill you in on a few things happening in the trench. Oh yah, amidst the field trips, birthdays and Canada Day celebrations there’s still an archaeological trench!

This week we had a special visitor. Our Aerial-Cam guy, Adam Stanford, arrived on Tuesday and spent all day taking fantastic pics of the trench with his super fancy kit. In case you’re interested in his handy work, here’s Adam standing next to his amazing Land Rover with a pole attached that extends 40 feet into the air! If you need anything taken from a soaring height (not just archaeology: groups, buildings, your house, whatever!) I can highly recommend Adam and his Land Rover.

Adam Stanford and his very cool Aerial-Cam vehicle, with an equally cool pipe, a recent addition to his persona.
Adam Stanford and his very cool Aerial-Cam vehicle, with an equally cool pipe, a recent addition to his already fabulous personality!

So, Adam and his gear can take amazing photographs from above the trench that really allow one to appreciate the features popping out. This picture below, however, is the best I can do from my fancy new ladder that I remain proud of despite its clear inferiority to the Aerial-Cam. I will update everyone with some very cool photos from Adam as soon as we can.

Here's what the trench looks like from the east end, facing west. It looks so different from this angle, I hadn't really noticed until I just looked at this closely!
Here’s what the trench looks like from the east end, facing west. It looks so different from this angle, I hadn’t really noticed until I just looked at this closely!

One thing that always amazes me in archaeology is how different and varied types of photography can completely change one’s perspective of everything from a trench to an artifact. For instance, depending on the light and angle of a photo of a bust of an emperor, the same bust can look like two completely different people. Here is a picture on the same day as above, but from the west end of the trench looking back to the east. Just changing the side and adding people makes it look like an entirely different archaeological space!

An empty trench looking eastward towards the site. I think this looks like a completely different space. We've gotten tons of work done and even more this week. I'll update you again really soon!
An empty trench looking eastward towards the site. I think this looks like a completely different space. We’ve gotten tons of work done and even more this week. I’ll update you again really soon!

One more cool thing happening this week is learning to draw profiles and sections in the trench. Tomorrow we’re going to show you everything about the recording that’s been going on for the past two weeks, but for now, here’s a cool ‘section’ of one of the ditch features we’ve been excavating. The point of the image and the drawing is to record the depths and location of the stratigraphy in the feature. You can see the very different bands of material here, each with its own ‘context number’ (or sometimes called an ‘SU’ for ‘stratigraphic unit’). This number is unique to the stratigraphic level to which it is assigned and will always remain with the material that is found in this level. A pottery bag without a context number  is like a bicycle without wheels!

The small white tags are marking which contexts correspond to which stratigraphic layer. The poles are giving the image scale and the board in front gives us important information about the feature being photographed including which direction the picture faces.
The small white tags are marking which contexts correspond to which stratigraphic layer. The poles are giving the image scale and the board in front gives us important information about the feature being photographed including which direction the picture faces.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your trench update! Keep an eye on this space over the next few days. The students have some very cool posts planned for the 2013 sign off. I don’t know what we’ll do without them!

 

 

2 thoughts on “Lest you think it’s all fun and games…

  1. Nice work, everyone! It looks like you made a lot of progress this season. The ladder is a great addition to this year’s team.

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