Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dig 2012-Day 4: Rain, rain, go away. Archaeologists want to play

Look familiar?

I couldn’t help seeing the resemblance here. 
As the storm clouds moved in and lightning flashed above the steeple of St Patrick’s, it looked like relief was on the way.  It also meant that the torrents filled in the pits and had to be bailed out with sponges.  The dry dust became mud, which raised its own challenges.  But that did not stop our hearty souls from continuing their quest.  The rains came, but the heat and humidity remained. 
UMass Chancellor Meehan paid a visit today and visited the site.  The part the University is playing in the program is essential to its continuance.  The students who have been able to participate here and at Crossan get a unique perspective on history and immigration.  Just as important is the global connection of seeing beyond place and time.

I have been waiting for a year to see what is under that stone sitting in Trench 3.  When this dig started on Monday, I thought that was the day.  Then Tuesday came, and then the big day today.  If it’s one thing I’ve learned about archaeologist, it’s that they are methodical.  Today was another day of scraping, sifting, measuring, and drawing.  Patience is a virtue I sorely lack.  The story of the stone remains a mystery for another day.
There were some great finds though.  Larger pieces of redware and crockery came out of the pits today, along with some much larger cattle and sheep bones. In Harry’s trench, the soil was brought to another level, once again revealing an even earlier layer.  The deeper you go, the more likely the older the artifacts.  In just a few minutes, a metal thimble and large pipe stem were found.  Being found so far under the surface, one must ask, who used these items?  Did the woman search far and wide for her precious sewing item?  Did the man sit by the side of the Western canal after a day’s work to enjoy his smoke before heading home?
Do you have a question for the archaeologists?  Send a comment along.

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