Sunday, December 02, 2007

A day in the life...

Tuesday morning I leave Mayapan and its last Mayan inhabitants and head for a more recent history in Berkeley. I leave Kroeber contemplating the disappearance of this noble civilization. In the short time it takes me to get to the Cheney house I switch gears pushing aside the visuals of Mayan civilization in Mayapan and making way for the last image I have of the two units we have opened thus far at the site. At the Cheney house I am greeted by Kim, our graduate student advisor, and a couple other familiar faces that join me in this excavation project.
This semester the site has been open for weeks now. Once a week the site is open for Anthropology students to come and dig for a few hours between classes and other responsibilities. A sign at the site explains the history of the site and the work that has been done by Anthropology students and staff in the last couple years. I get a pick and some gloves out of the community tool bucket and get to work on one of the two units.
“We’re done with the shovel test pit units at the front of the house,” Kim exclaims excited at the progress that has been made thus far. Three students get to work on the two units that are open at this time. In the deeper unit the students meet another set back as they unearth another pipe. In my unit I work through the rocky first level before I reach the clay layer that lets me know that we are now in level two. I pick through the rocky earth hoping not to get too much dirt in my colleague’s eyes. At times I contemplate switching tools for something less hazardous but I know that a trowel will not help me get through the compacted dirt. The few artifacts I find in this layer I hand pick and save in the designated artifact bag. Screening the dirt yields a few more artifacts. At the end of our digging day, Kim rewards us with a much needed sugar boost.

Isabel Hernandez


Post a Comment

<< Home