Today marks just about half way through our field season! We are in the middle of a break and the students are on holiday, driving among the beautiful landscapes of southern Utah. We start excavation again on Friday. I thought this was an opportune time to put up a few pictures of the site showing the total extent of our excavations.
This picture is of the first kiln we discovered, showing the full extent of recent excavations. Frank and Brandon opened a second unit adjoining the south side of the square that Renée and Samantha have dug. They have exposed more of the kiln's floor, but we are puzzled because they have not uncovered part of the exterior wall and flue system, and we haven't found the fireboxes or kiln door. We have more digging to do before we fully understand this kiln!
The next image looks south over the 6 meter long trench that we've dug north of the first kiln. You can see a pair of stone foundations that Samantha, Mark, and Mike have exposed. The foundations are substantial and the artifact preservation in the units is extraordinary. I have a theory about the purpose of this building, but I'm withholding speculations until we have a little more evidence.
The final photo shows an overall view looking south toward the mountains. The wide angle lens distorts the image, making the mountains look small and the site narrow, but it captures the arrangements of the excavation units.
In my next post, I'll describe how the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fit together. Readers might notice that the students have been signing up as coauthors on the blog. I hope some of them will start making posts next week, telling what they've learned about their discoveries and the process and practice of public archaeology.