Daily Archives: April 20, 2009

Fieldwork Picture of the Day

Duncan with his feet in a 12,000 year old bog

Duncan with his feet in a 12,000 year old bog

While doing the Anthro 449 site, I’m finding a lot of pictures I haven’t seen lately, so I might as well post some of them here.  This one shows Duncan digging at Kilgii Gwaay (map) in 2002.  This was an unusual project, working in the intertidal zone between tidal windows — so about 6 hours per day of frenzied activity (read: poor napping) until the unit flooded again.  In this instance, the unit was 4 foot by 4 foot to accomodate the dimensions of plywood shoring.  There wasn’t a lot down in this unit, at least not archaeologically, but we do have a huge sample of woody bits from the organic deposits at the bottom.  In essence, the unit was placed on the edge of an ancient pond that formed post-glacially and  then lived a quiet life in the anonymous southern forests of Haida Gwaii – only to be rudely interrupted around 9450 14C years ago by rising sea levels, which made it attractive for a brief window of human occupation.  So – from a small pond in the forest, to a busy camp site, to a beach, all in a span of about 50 years.  And now, with falling sea levels, back to a beach.  The archaeological site is eroding somewhat, but nonetheless there are patches of intact shell midden and as it shows here, a large amount of terrestrial freshwater-saturated pond splooges under this beach.

Getting Started!

I am preparing the website on Haida Archaeology, for which my Anthropology 449 students have been making the content.   I started doing it all on WordPress, but I found I was struggling with the use of so many pages on a system that was primarily designed for blog posts, with items scrolling away off the page.  So I switched to using iWeb, which has something of a learning curve but I think it will work better in the end.   Nonetheless it is taking a lot of time and I would definitely do some things differently next time.  But then, next time I will know what I know now!