Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trackhoe Day

Sometimes a person sitting next to me on an airplane or some such will say to me, "Archaeology? That must be so tedious, having to be so careful." I like to answer, "My favorite digging tool is a giant trackhoe."

Today we were stripping the plowzone from one of our sites in Delaware. This is always exciting because after weeks of digging little hand units and seeing tiny pieces of the site, we suddenly see it all laid out in front of us. Here Lex cleans off one of the features we uncovered, this one probably a well.

It was a gorgeous day. But even on a day like this one, this is exhausting work. That machine moves a lot of dirt, and it uncovered a quarter acre in (over a thousand square meters) in seven hours. That left a lot of cleaning up for us to do, shoveling away the lose soil and troweling off the features, in the bright sun, accompanied by diesel fumes and the steady roar of the engine. And tomorrow I'm going back to do it again.

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