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Closing out Week 1

Veiðivötn 1477 tephra exposed in Area E

Most of our efforts for the past few days have been on Area E, around the house.  With seven people on site we’ve managed to take out a significant amount of soil very quickly, now getting down to the Veiðivötn 1477 tephra, and at the end of the day removing it as well.  From the first picture you can see the tephra exposed across the entire trench, note the greenish hue.  The cultural layers directly below this tephra and going all the way down to the Hekla 1300 tephra are particularly important to us, as noted in the last post.

As for what we’ve found so far, it has mostly been bones from sheep and fish and a variety of artifacts, including clay smoking pipes, iron nails, glass, buttons, and others.  In the weeks to come I will post pictures of some of the artifacts that may be of interest to the general public, ie not just nerdy archaeologists.

Amanda and Seth excavating 1477 tephra

Since obtaining a new digital video camera yesterday, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to capture the excavation process.  I am now thinking that the best approach may be a combination of working videos, on-site interviews, and interviews conducted back at the house.  Obtaining good sound is proving to be an issue with videos shot on site.  I think this can be fixed later, as long as I record sound at some point that can be dubbed onto the video later, if necessary.  In the future I intend to include more videos in the blog, as I learn how to do so.

Now that we’re into a sort of excavating zone, things will start to move faster.  Our goal is to complete both trenches in the next four weeks, so there is much work left to do.  Also, for the last two weeks we will be accompanied on site by a group of undergraduates from Brooklyn College; part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), led by Dr. Sophia Perdikaris.  Hopefully these laborers, ahem student scholars, will help us finish up the project on schedule.

Aaron and Þóra experimenting with video

Many more pics and videos to come!

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