Posted by: signalhillarchaeology | July 28, 2009

Water, water everywhere…

It was a wet and rainy day today– which makes for unpleasant digging, but rain or no rain, the fieldwork must go on.  So, we soldiered on, got really muddy, and got some dirt moved. All in all, a fine day’s work.

Just Diggin' in the Rain...

Just Diggin' in the Rain...

Despite enduring the ‘rain, drizzle and fog’ that plagues Newfoundland summers, we’ve had a productive couple of days.  In the north trench, we are almost through the collapse/building remodelling layer, and have found some interesting structural hardware in it (such as door latches).  Below this, we seem to be exposing midden-like deposits similar to those found elsewhere at the site.

And in these deposits, we found an artifact that we hadn’t found yet on site:

A bone comb! Note the tightly spaced comb teeth (some of which are missing) along the margins of the comb. Lovely find!

A bone comb! Note the tightly spaced comb teeth (some of which are missing) along the margins of the comb. Lovely find!

I wonder if the tightly spaced teeth of the comb were used to remove small critters from soldiers’ hair…

And in the other trench, surrounding the fireplace base, the midden-like deposit turned up more interesting artifacts (some of which will be in a ‘mystery artifact’ post tomorrow). One of the more photogenic is another lion’s head, which would have decorated a hat.  This one is in better shape and is slightly larger than the other lion’s head that we found.

A second lion's head, just as it appeared when we uncovered it in the dirt.

A second lion's head, just as it appeared when we uncovered it in the dirt.

And, in preparation for another small expansion of one excavation trench, we had to complete some  maps of the wall of the excavation trench; this wall is going to be removed during our expansion of the excavation trench, so we needed to draw a map of it and photograph it before its removal.

The area that had to be mapped was a very tight space, so we turned to Jennifer, our resident Interpreter and Excavator. Jen’s key advantage here is being able to twist and fold herself into a tiny space, wedged between two walls and perched (uncomfortably, no doubt) on bare bedrock.

A good archaeologist sometimes has to be a human pretzel.

A good archaeologist sometimes has to be a human pretzel.

Fortunately, Jen got her profile completed before the advent of the dreaded ‘rain, drizzle and fog’, and before she lost all circulation below her knees.  Perhaps archaeological training should also include yoga lessons?

Further updates on mystery artifacts and enthusiastic visitors to the site will follow through this week– so stay tuned!

—Amanda Crompton (Instructor)

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