Friday, November 02, 2007

It has been around two months since I first started working on the Cheney House project on campus. My first week out on the field digging really took getting use to. I did not expect that it would be as difficult as it turned out because my partner and I were digging on a slight slope so it was hard to maintain my balance when the pit got deeper. In addition, we had to clear the ivy that covered the ground and also trimmed some of the dead branches from nearby trees in order to clear the area for digging. The surface level was relatively easy to dig through because the top soil was fairly soft. However, as we dug deeper, the soil texture changed and it became more difficult to dig through since it was dry and quite hard. The test pit did not yield many findings aside from a few pieces of glass and a small ball that Kim thinks might have been used for making pies.
For the last few weeks I have been working on units 16 and 18, which contain a row of old bricks that might have been a part of a path leading to the property. It is taking longer than expected to level off the bottom of the units because though we seemingly hit sterile soil, the small wall separating the two units kept churning up artifacts as I was taking it down. Artifacts found mainly consist of brick, glass, and nails. A couple of pipes are also situated in the units, which possibly explains the complex stratigraphic finds if we are digging in an old trench. The deeper soil levels were very hard to work with because I had to use a hand pick to slowly plow through the soil while trying not to damage any potential artifacts. Luckily due to the recent rain, the subsurface soil softened so last week it was much easier to take down the small wall and level off the units. Despite some of the routine work that we perform, it is quite exciting to take part in a project dealing with tangible history right here on campus. I cannot wait until we connect research findings with our excavation findings to learn more about the Cheney family and the property.

Lin Wu


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