Friday, November 02, 2007

I chose to be a part of the archeological excavation of the Cheney House to get hands-on experience of something I have only observed on PBS, about excavating. Excavating has always appealed to me. I never found the time to get involved with excavation, when the opportunity would have been offered at a local museum. This also gives me an opportunity to learn, from the beginning, exactly what an excavation encompasses. Needless to say, there is a lot more to excavating than just digging.

Digging sounds and looks easy to the passersby. I gently tap, with a pick, on the parameter of the designated site, while leveling soil, to make the sides even. This is a vital part of excavating. The dirt is packed as tight as clay and we still have to be careful, in the event a delicate object is located. I have found pieces of blue balloon, mortar, and tiny pieces of bone. Objects are then placed in a paper bag, and labeled with information about the location site and the date. At the end of the day, the bags are taken to the lab, for storage. Once the bag is in the lab, the items are washed, dried, labeled, logged and stored.

I am now experiencing another vital aspect of anthropology, archeology. I enjoy participating in the Cheney House project because the project is ongoing, thus, I can participate each semester. I recommend this project to all anthropology enthusiasts.

Gwen Blair


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