Wednesday, 30 May 2012

May 29th: Industrial Area or Cabin Site?

Today we continued excavations on an area just west of the early 1900's cedar plank road that runs through the McKenzie Creek site. A few weeks ago, Spencer K. got some response with a metal detector in this zone so we set up a series of  5 units to see what artifacts we could find, perhaps giving us a better clue of what that zone was designated for by the Japanese loggers. Over the past week, these digs recovered several items that seemed to indicate that it was once a cabin site, but we're not sure just yet. There are nine students working on this area and some of the significant items are a tobacco pipe (the stem portion only) in Rebecca's unit as well as some finds that appear industrial. Evan recovered what looks like the remains of a wood planer and I found a bolt that appears to have been an apparatus for holding a saw blade in place during sharpening. In this same area we found nails, broken and melted glass pieces, and portions of leather work boots. 
Mark was able to film some short video clips of Rebecca and Nathan describing what they have found so far in these excavations units:

In addition to the excavations, the remaining six students ventured out to survey the surrounding areas. Spencer M. and Jasmin covered the wooded slopes and several creeks west of the site, Lindsay and Ryan on the south end, Andrew and Alexis took the North. We have a few objectives we hope to achieve by doing these surveys including:
- For the students to gain experience in professional archaeological survey methods
- Help us to be certain where the exact boundaries of the site are
- Document the locations and numbers of routes into and out of the site itself
- Provide a more detailed mapping and perspective of the site and any features that might be of interest or relevance to our project.

There will be some time to work in the lab soon to take a closer look at artifacts from past years and organize our finds for this season. 

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