Friday, June 21, 2013

First Day in the Field

Excavation Starts at the William Kaulehelehe House Site (Block K) with
the Reconstructed Village Houses and Silver Star Mountain in the background.
 Today we started excavation in the Village at the William Kaulehelehe House site and started removing fill from the Little Prouxl House.  After setting up a 1 x 5 m trench, near a 1980s test unit excavated by Bryn Thomas and Chuck Hibbs, we began using the iPads as a means to enter data.  So far the data entry seems very easy and mimics the success that Matthew Betts had at the E'se'get Archaeology Project in Nova Scotia, Canada. The forms follow the paper forms quite well and while we have not yet used them in the rain or dry dusty conditions, the four completed level forms and two in-progress forms for today were entered with minimal issues.  This evening, the level record forms for the two iPads that were used today were downloaded via lightning connection and backed up very quickly. We will undoubtedly have more iPads in operation tomorrow once the fill from Block L is entirely removed..  The weather outlook suggests that we will likely have some rain next week to test wetter and more muddy conditions.  Tomorrow however, we should have nice weather again.

Some of the students are learning to excavate shovel tests (50 x 50 cm tests) along the southern border of the South Barracks portion of the Village.   These tests are using paper and pencil forms. So far we have barely penetrated some fill deposits from the 1980s.

We plan to have the students visit Pearson Air Museum tomorrow to help celebrate the 76th anniversary memorial program of the Chkalov landing in Vancouver.  This is an event we visited with the field school last year that was quite touching for the students.  Participation in a "history program" will help demonstrate the significance of historical sites tied to events (or Criterion A of the National Register of Historic Places significance criteria) and how place-based history is tied to significant archaeological sites through the United States National Register. I hope to show that the significance of archaeological sites must also address other criteria of significance than Criterion D (transcending their ability to serve primarily as scientific data stores), but can embody remains tied to important events, people, and other aspects tied to National Register eligibility.

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