Week 2, Day 1: Lindsey Weirich

Morning came early for camp today. we skipped our usual egg breakfast in favor of something more convenient. We were all excited to start our first day of excavation at the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge. Everyone trudged through the thick brush of the forest to the clearing, waiting like kids on Christmas Eve as our professors explained method and practice.

Geometry can come in handy while doing archaeology.

We practiced setting up 1 m x 1m units using huge nails, string, and countless measuring tapes at the site we think may be a house.

For our first area, we chose to set up a 5m x 5m square, broken into 1m x 1m units, and quickly set up screens to pan the dirt through.

Test units help determine the scope of an excavation.

Teams were asssigned to units, and began to slowly take away the dead leaves and the top few centimeters of soil.

We found all sorts of things, including metal, nails, melted glass, broken glass, ceramics, charred wood, brick, pieces of bottles, and even a penny! Our professors were astonished that we are finding so many artifacts on the topsoil, who knows what we may find next!

Even in the dense roots and leaf litter, artifacts begin to tell the story of the people who lived here.

A hand cut nail helps date the site.

Dr. Ward and Dr. Dillian were also impressed by our makeshift tackle box, where we put all the worms found to supply a fishing expedition later that evening. Many have developed a conspiracy theory, seeing as the fish happily jump in the river, but refuse to bite the hook.

Dr. Ward and Jess Hendrix went out to get more supplies for camp, and brought back tripod screens for tomorrow. At the end of the day, last call was made for screening buckets of dirt, and some cries of dispute were heard around the site. Just until the sun goes down, then we will be willing to put the trowel down and get some sleep.

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