Thursday, July 10, 2008


Almost two weeks into digging, I'm feeling pretty comfortable, probably because we have hit a major roadblock. Clay. Clay, like you make pottery out of? That stuff. Thick, smeary, clay, almost a meter deep in places. It means that instead of up to seventeen test pits in a day, Craig and I are getting one done, if that, and one truly awful pit took two days to dig (not ours, thankfully), because we have to push every. cubic. centimeter. of clay through the screens to make sure there are no artifacts in there (yes, there have been entire sites in clay before). So it is much less physically demanding, except for tired feet from standing in one place and sore trowel hand from relentless squishing, and more mentally exhausting, staying vigilant for a flake of chert in the middle of all that endless clay.
Also, every day we hike through a bog to get to our testing area. Maybe bog isn't the right word, but it's full of mossy hummocks and chest-height bushes and dead trees and, most important, watery holes that will swallow your leg right up to your hip if you misstep and land in one that is covered in moss. This is pretty exciting stuff, mainly because we barrel through at a pretty impessive clip, and I have the shortest legs in the group, so I fall behind or have to fly through without really looking where I am going. Today, I almost lost my shoe in a hole.
The bird nest we found last week? Two of the three eggs have hatched, and the babies are pretty ugly at the moment. We're still not sure what kind of bird they are, but Adam - Ellis' boyfriend and another Belize alumni - may be joining us, and he's a biology dude, so perhaps he can fill us in.
It's only 8 and I'm already fading fast...

Me doing my thing (and Craig, also pushing clay through the screen):
Clockwise: Jason, Ellis, and Jamie, also doing their things.
Burt, a salamander Jamie found yesterday. He is safe and sound, though obviously a little lacking in the tail department.


Blogger GailM. said...

So, I'm wondering if you've found any artifacts yet.. I expect the people you're digging for are hoping for no treasures.

5:07 PM  
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