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Archaeology

Field School Week 1

This first week of Archaeology Field School brought many brand new experiences for most of us. During our first day, we were introduced to the lab and had a lecture on archaeology with Dr. Seidel. The lecture was a very shortened version of an Introduction to Archaeology class. Covering all the broad and very important points of the subject, it gave us an understanding of what we were going to be diving into for the next six weeks. We learned about how things operate in Washington College’s Archaeology lab, as well as understanding how to give tours to guests who may come through with curiosity.As the week continued on, we had several lectures about the history of the Mount Harmon Plantation, shovel testing, historical preservation, and architecture. After stepping off the bus for the first time at the site, we went straight into our shoreline survey. Along the way Professor Schindler pointed out which plants were edible and some students were daring enough to try them. Along the shore we learned a little about the formation of the landscape and looked for both historic and prehistoric artifacts, finding mostly glass and a few projectile points and flakes.After the shoreline survey, we were assigned to the units we would be working in. We were informed about the units which were already in place from last year, what they had planned to find, and what they had already found. We then set up our new units (7, 8 & 9) and strung off the units using the triangulation method. As the week progressed, we continued working on our new units, and a few artifacts have already been recovered.Our excavation sites were not the only things we worked on the first week. Some students were able to work with a professional land surveyor who taught them the first lessons of land surveying. Using mathematics and advanced technological surveying devices, such as a Total Station, students really enjoyed becoming familiar with the process that is just as critical to archaeology as digging is.— Camille McNeal
05/24/2011