Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Day in the Life of an Archaeologist

Jacque:  If you think Archaeology is all wild and daring adventure full of intricate booby traps and golden idols, then you have another thing coming.  Our typical day starts at 7:30 a.m. and ends around 4:00 p.m..  My 2 x 2 meter unit is located on the Gravel Knoll.  Unlike Indiana Jones, we can't just walk into a temple and find artifacts, we actually have to dig holes.  We start by removing the sod zone of the unit.  Each level below the sod zone is 10 centimeters thick.  For each level we dig five 9 centimeter deep guide holes that are used as a reference for how deep we need to dig.  Next, we'll shovel skim the rest of the level down to 9 centimeters and then use our trowels to take off the last remaining centimeter.  All of the dirt that's dug up is thrown into a screen and sifted through to look for artifacts.  After each level is complete, you must map the unit, complete paperwork, and turn in your artifacts.  Even though Archaeology isn't very accurately portrayed by Hollywood, it is still a very exciting and rewarding field.

Unlike Indiana Jones, Jacque (UNI) and Emily (MSU) consult on paperwork.

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