Friday, July 22, 2011

"The Dirt That Pushes Back"

Alright. Sorry I missed about a week in there. Things got pretty hectic. Heh. My family had the Concours d'Elegance to work on, which was... something of a bust. We got rained out for the first time in the entirety of my life. Yay... But, now I'm back to work on the site and the weather is looking up!

Since I last posted, not much has changed. We lost the trail to the privy, because it ended up terminating about 5 cm into the unit that was covering part of it. That was kind of a heart-breaking blow, 'cause we've been working toward that for so long. However, now we're focusing on the well. I was actually just assigned to that unit today. I was pretty excited, because the well has a really good chance of turning up some amazing artifacts and is pretty unique in the Northwest. If we can get through what appears to be fill dirt, then we could have a really interesting unit on our hands. We found the well underneath the rubble pile that was, at one point, the chimney for the house. You could see the wood cribbing that lined the well. Or, at least that's what we're pretty sure it is.

So, my partner and I got to it with quite a bit of excitement and gusto. We cleared off the top layer that was mostly sand in no time at all. Looking forward to the next level, we got to it, only to discover a thick, solid layer of clay underneath the sand. This is the dirt that Champoeg is famous for, apparently. Or, at least it's famous in the OSU archaeology world. They refer to it as "the dirt that pushes back", because you can push your shovel into it as hard as you want, but all you'll accomplish is sliding backward. It was bloody terrible! We were shoved down in this small hole surrounded by stuff that we couldn't step on or we would be ceremonially beheaded and had to work with this dirt that would not give an inch. It was a long day, and I'm pretty sure I had "dust madness" by the end of the day. But! We did finish at least one level, and we found a huge chunk of charcoal in an otherwise fairly barren unit. The charcoal was big enough that it could've been part of a board, which was really important. We're looking for pieces of waddle and daub that would point toward the very first chimney for the house. This burned piece of wood could be something having to do with that chimney, so the site manager was incredibly glad to see it. We also found a ceramic foot-ring that was really badly burnt, so it could've been in the same fire that produced the charcoal that we found. All in all, a very exciting day. Well, beside the terrible soil that we had to work through to find it.

Only two more weeks left before I finish up with Champoeg. Then it's off to Scotland! I can't wait. I'm really getting excited to go. It's going to be awesome. I hope I can post some more interesting things when I get there.

Also, let me know if there's anything you want to know about this place! I don't necessarily know what to say, but I'd be willing to add anything anyone wanted to hear about specifically. Ya know.


No comments:

Post a Comment