Where in the hell am I?

September 28, 2010

Fools gold…Wyoming Day 6

Filed under: archaeology, archeology, survey — Tags: , , , , — John @ 9:06 pm

Today ended up being a short day, in that we got back to the hotel at 3:00 instead of 5:00. It was not short in terms of mileage, as my team easily did 4-5 miles of survey. A lot of it was relatively level, low ground and so we were able to make good time. We also were right off Interstate 80, about six miles from the hotel, so we were on the ground at 7:30.

We crossed one area covered in glossy, black slate gravels. These really looked like flakes and stone tools. I guess it was the fracture patterns, particularly on the edges. Some of them also had pockmarks that resembled the potlids in burned chert and quartzite. All four of us were constantly stopping, bending over, and then tossing the rocks to the ground in disgust. After the second pass, I told the field director that it was “like walking across a field of archaeological pyrite.” I got a nice laugh out of that 🙂

Other than that, the only difference between today and any other day was finding a huge historic site, with lots of pipe features suggesting oil or gas wells. There were also a lot of glass and metal artifacts, including a big can dump. Interestingly, there were some relatively fancy broken dishes, which one would normally associate with a residential site rather than an industrial site. We didn’t record it, as we’re still doing the Phase II survey looking for rock cairns and such. Hopefully, someone really interested in and knowledgeable about those kind of sites records it, and then tells me what it is! It might be related to the town of Sinclair, which is across the road, and is built around a huge Sinclair Oil refinery.

Tomorrow is our last day of Phase II for a while. Two people are leaving, but seven more are coming in, for a total of 12. We’ll start the Phase III survey Thursday with this full crew. We’ll finally be recording all sites and isolates, so it should be interesting.

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