Tansy is a very experienced archaeologist, and spent a good chunk of her summer on an archaeological project with her favourite photographer. She demonstrated excellent knowledge and ability of the tools and techniques of the job. Here she is sitting in the quarter-inch mesh screen prior to sifting the backdirt…
…and here she is screening the dirt in the eighth-inch screen. Her co-corkers appreciated her keen eye and small hands, and she was responsible for spotting several important artifacts, like this large quartz crystal flake.
This is the backdirt pile – all sifted through, and ready to be shoveled back into the pit when the digging is finished.
Here Tansy demonstrates two other pieces of important equipment. A colour chart is always used to record layers, and was essential this summer since the smoky air made the daylight appear very yellow. The black and white squares at one side of this little chart also act as a measuring key.
And the ubiquitous archaeologists trowel – did you know that in a prepared documentary photograph, the trowel acts as a North Arrow?
More important recording stuff – the pink line has a plumb bob on it to make sure the side walls of the excavation are straight. “Plumb” is from the word “lead” in Latin, which is also where the word plumber comes from.
The line level also helps with straightening vertical and horizontal planes, and the tape measure also helps get accurate readings.
The graduated edge boards are useful for rough measurements, and also protect the pit sides and edges from crumbling as the archaeologists get in and out of the deepening pit and.
The tin bucket is for lifting dirt out, for sitting on while deep in the pit, and for standing on to get out when the pit is between the “step” out” stage and the “ladder climbing” stage.
How straight is that! Tansy was proud to help with digging this beautiful pit!
Tansy kept track of the bags – each containing a significant artifact, labeled in the field with location coordinates. She also kept track of the radio listening out for the second field crew, not far away, but not visible either in the dense forest.
Both crews reunited in the evenings, and Tansy was gratified that the camp equipment included chairs with doll-holders!