Final week: final presentation. Meghan Mumford.

Today was a bittersweet day. It was bitter because our wonderful field school is over, but sweet in sense of accomplishment that accompanied the conclusion. I believe I speak for my fellow classmates when I say that the experience has been an extremely rewarding one filled with newly acquired knowledge. Today we gave presentation on the individual sites that we have all worked on and it is amazing to think about all that we have experienced. You cannot put a price on hands on experiences and that has been exactly what the field school has provided.

After all nighters in the lab and a month in the woods, this team still leads the pack.

Over the course of the class we have learned how to survey, excavate, map, analyze data, and do everything in between. I believe I speak for my fellow students once again in saying we had two amazing teachers, Dr. Ward and Dr. Dillian whose knowledge and company have been wonderful. Among the great experiences, we have been given access to other great sources of knowledge within the school and surrounding communities. We are thankful for all the support and enthusiasm that has surrounded the course.

Today’s reports were the culmination of all of our hard work in the field that was carried over into countless hours of time put in at the lab. To complete our reports we had to analyze all the artifacts that we have processed and cataloged from our various sites and put them into context. The reports also included the individual histories and locations of the sites and calculated date of artifacts. The goals of our reports were to process and analyze all of the information gathered from the site that will help others and ourselves understand more about the site. Such evidence could provide information about the time period, function, occupation, and various other facts that help to identify and understand the site.

After compiling our reports we presented our results to Dr. Ward and Ben Burroughs. Having listened to all of the reports it is amazing to hear how much we have all learned and experienced throughout this process. After the presentations, it was time to say see you soon to the field school members, but not goodbye as we will all undoubtedly have at least one of the newly offered archaeology courses. Thank you all for a great experience!

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Final week — last hours. Jess Hendrix.

It is 12:51 AM on Friday 9. All seven members of the team are here at Coastal’s Archaeology Lab in the Burroughs and Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies. We have been here since 9:00 AM on this morning,

Documenting the artifacts in detail takes more time than expected.

which is now yesterday morning. Some of the team members are begin to show signs of hysteria.

We finally finished processing the last of the artifacts today. We began to write up the various sections of the preliminary report for the sites we visited during the field school. The final report must be completed by 1:00 PM today Friday the 9th. We are all working very diligently. Various sections of the report have been completed, but there is still much work to be done.

I have taken a short break from my work to write this blog entry. Tomorrow we must give a presentation of our report to Dr. Ward. There is still a lot of work to be done so this is all I

People had nightmares about finding artifacts without labels.

have time to write for this entry. Be sure to check Friday’s blog to see how our presentation went.

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Final week – Allison Varriale

Today was our second day of lab work. It got tedious at times but it was made better by the comradery that we all share and the music that was blasting all day. We came in at nine this morning and the earliest someone left for the evening was a little after six, but most of us stayed long after that. It was a very productive day and we are working very hard to get everything done on time.

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Lab work — Lindsey Weirich

Today was the first full day of lab work. Dr. Sharon Moses came from our Archaeology Department

Nails, broken nails, iron hardware, broken glass and...peppermints fuel the activity.

to show us how to draw artifacts like the pros. Also, Mr. Jim Smith came in to show us his amazing collection of lithics from Horry and the surrounding counties. The lithics were made by Native Americans who used rocks to chip away stone and make sharp tools and weapons.

They are made from all different types of stone, but my personal favorite is rhyolite. It’s a dark color with thin white stripes, and an edge that can split a hair!

We spent the rest of our afternoon drawing and cataloging the endless amount of artifacts that we recovered from the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge and from the slave street at Brookgreen.

The field school is quickly coming to a close, but we are anxious to share everything and put together a professional report on our findings.

Some of us dream about digging.

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Final week…

Analysis, artifact illustration lecture by special guest Dr. Sharon Moses, and report preparation made the temperatures rise in the laboratory today with all the brain power exerted. We also had a visit from Rusty Ray of Myrtle Beach’s Channel 13, who did a feature story on our new local chapter of the Archaeological Society of South Carolina.
http://www2.scnow.com/scp/news/local/grand_strand/article/new_archaeology_group_digs_deeper_into_history/214025/

You can find out more about the group at http://assc.net or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Waccamaw-Chapter-of-the-Archaeological-Society-of-South-Carolina/133473453345410?ref=ts&v=wall

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Closing Day at the Site

Greatest field school crew ever.

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Week 4, Day 5 — Andrew Rayborn

Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge.

Today was the last day we were going to do any excavations and the last day to do any work at the refuge

Finally, some bricks in a line!

because tomorrow we are going back home after packing up camp in the morning. We went straight to the site to finish any levels that we hadn’t hit and screen the soil in order to finish each individual unit.

It didn’t take long to accomplish this feat since we were mostly finished anyway. Dr. Ward and Lindsey did a shovel test our site behind our 25 square meter excavation unit and Chris and I recorded the soil profile of the units that hadn’t had one done yet. After we did that, Chris and I finished another shovel test at feature 3, north of the excavation site.

We used a rounded shovel to dig 65 centimeters, and then used that auger to continue digging down to 143 centimeters. While Chris dug,

Empty excavation units, with full bags of artifacts back in the lab for analysis.

I screened the dirt, finding only two shards of glass and the plate that was broken into three pieces that was on the surface. It started to rain then, so we all went to the lab to analyze artifacts and record our findings while waiting the storm out.

We went back to the site at about 3 o’clock to wrap up everything that we didn’t finish in the morning. We all took our last photographs of the site and prepared to backfill the screened dirt into the excavation units. Before we put the dirt back though, we placed flagging tape into plastic bottles that read, “Coastal Carolina University 2010” and put them on the bottom of each disturbed unit. This is done to show those who come back to the site

Backfilling takes a lot of collaboration and bucket passing.

to excavate that we were here and have cleared the artifacts down to the level that the bottle is on. We went ahead and filled in the units and packed up the site. Now all we have left is the packing of camp and the clean-up tomorrow when we leave.

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