Where in the hell am I?

January 27, 2010

More log walk

jlowe log walk

Originally uploaded by texasrobo

I fell behind on blogging. Life’s been alternately great and rough. Likes like 2010 may beat 2009 in being manic, which I might have thought impossible.
But I digress, we’re here to talk about archaeology. If you wanted to read me whining, you can always refer to my Facebook…
When last I wrote, it was about the joy of swamp log walk, complete with a photo. That Saturday, we revisited one of the sites (which we named the Swamp Log Walk Site, of course) to complete the delineation. As an added bonus, it had rained some the night before. The swamp log was still there, but the water level was definitely a little higher. Still, it was solid footing and we were all very excited.
An added attraction: we had to cross train tracks to get here, and my boss had left some pennies on the rails Thursday. So we found them, and my guys put some more change on there in case a train passed while we were recording the site.
We dug 14 more shovel tests (including 3 by yours truly, as the GPS was fuxored), with seven containing cultural materials. The tests were spaced out and focused on the outer edges of our APE, since we pretty much assumed the site boundaries extended along the landform well beyond our survey area. By putting tests at the edge (and hitting positives), we save some time. Unlike the survey from hell, we can’t chase sites outside of the project boundaries for this project (which is really like a survey from a slightly higher level of hell). We even managed to find a projectile point, for which I rewarded the field tech with a 6-pack of fancy beer. Artifact photos will be up on Flickr soon.
There had been some very light sprinkles while we were out recording the site, and apparently some heavier rain to the north. When we got back to the swamp log, the water had risen some more, and only 3-4 inches were above the water line! Nevertheless, the swamp log once again provided sturdy passage.
When we got back to the train tracks, a train had passed and we couldn’t find all of the flattened coins. We spent some time trying to find them, and I played the “try and throw the railroad spike and get it to stick in the ground” game and other forms goofing off. Right when we were getting ready to leave, we heard a train coming! So some more coins came out, and we stood back while the train passed (there may have been a couple of rocks and sticks thrown, too). We ended up finding every last coin, including the ones from earlier. Unfortunately, almost all of them had been flattened to the point of being featureless!
That Sunday, swamp log walk entered new territory. Actually, it would have been nice if there were more swamp logs, as we had to cross about a quarter-mile of swampy floodplain, with some areas almost knee deep. No cypress knees to help either. And, the water moccasins were out!
Finally, we get to the last creek, and it’s a good 20 feet wide, with 8-foot banks and water at least 4 feet deep. But, someone had knocked down a tree and put it across the creek. So, I suppose technically not a swamp log. But click the link above (or here) and you can watch your intrepid adventurer/narrator make the return trip! Yep, a video!
That was the last field day. Since then, it’s been all paperwork and writing. But we’re supposed to go out next week again.


1 Comment »

  1. […] techs/co-workers), then a couple of weeks on Survey from Hell, Jr. There’s likely to be more log walks, snakes, general safety nonsense, and maybe a cool site or two! I’ll talk more cogently (and […]

    Pingback by It begins again « Where in the hell am I? — April 18, 2010 @ 11:59 pm

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