Saturday, May 16, 2009

Topsoil and Plowzone

Today is our second day excavating at the Davenport Pottery Site in Parowan, Utah.  Guided by the magnetometer survey and a surface survey, we have begun a two meter wide excavation trench across what we believe to be the kiln area.  We are excavating the trench in two meter squares.  You can see a picture of them here:
My field assistant Jessica Montcalm is the person leaning out of the picture (so she thought!)

Mike and Frank are working in the western-most unit, on the edge of the plowed field and have the first indication of architectural rubble.
Two meters east are RenĂ©e and Samantha.  They are working through the center of the hotspot in the magnetometry map.

We set up datum points by each excavation unit, so they can compare the depth at which soil, features, and artifacts appear in all the different units.  The sediment levels in the field seem to be very level.

We are already starting to find clues about production.    This little ceramic sphere seems to be a little bit of kiln furniture.  It was flattened just a bit on the top and bottom and the glaze ran onto one end during the firing.
Many people from town have come and see us at the site, but nobody is as happy as the robins that live in the trees and bushes next door.  They are thrilled that we're digging and mixing up the leaf and grass mulch dumped in the field.  As each team leaves their unit to go to the screens and process their dirt, the robins swoop in and eat all the grubs and worms they can find in the dig unit!  Then they fly away and wait for more digging to reveal more goodies.  You can just see one in the picture below.  I'll try to get a better picture with the digital camera.

This afternoon we broke early and packed up from the site.  We went down to Cedar City to the Iron Mission State Park Museum, where Todd Prince spoke to us about Utah prehistory.  Todd is the Park Manager at the Iron Mission State Park and an archaeologist with years of experience studying Utah's prehistory.  After talking with Todd and seeing the replica wiki ups on the museum grounds, we drove out to study the famous petroglyphs at the Parowan Gap.  You can see some photos and read a discussion about the archaeoastronomy at the site here:

No comments:

Post a Comment