Week 4, Day 1 — Meghan Mumford

Today was the first day of our last week out camping.

Today's guest lecturer is a dendrochronologist who helped us learn about tree-ring dating and the environment.

We began our day with an interesting lesson on dendrochronology, which is the study of tree rings as a reflection of the environment, and how it is useful to help date structures found in excavation.

Dr. Kuhn, an ecologist interested in environmental change, then accompanied us to our site at the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge. After giving us all an introduction and demonstration on how to core a tree, we were individually given a chance to help core some of the surrounding trees that would help us better understand what happened in the past to the environment around our site.

Chris learned the fine points of measuring a small boat beached at the refuge long ago.

We then continued on our excavation of the

Small beads, iron hardware, and broken glass are present in the open units.

5 x 5 meter unit with the exception of Lindsey and Andrew who are working on a unit outside of the grid. Today brought about many more interesting finds that will help us with our understanding of the feature. Nails, glass, and brick have all contributed to our finds.

Most finds are in the darker topsoil.

By lunchtime we were all hungry, and met with a pleasant surprise of hotdogs and Doritos, a change from our usual. After lunch some of the students surprised Dr. Dillian with a cake that was delicious! The surprise was bittersweet because we know that we were losing one of our wonderful professors.

We continued to work on our units for the rest of the day. I believe I speak for the class when I say thank you so much Dr. Dillian for all of the wonderful stories, blueberry tossing, and onion with a little bit of hamburger! Also, we thank you for all of the shared knowledge, company, and kindness. We wish you a safe trip to Kenya and look forward to your return!

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