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By Carol Valenta. The group of “wannabe” archaeologists!

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Presentation on theme: "By Carol Valenta. The group of “wannabe” archaeologists!"— Presentation transcript:

1 By Carol Valenta

2 The group of “wannabe” archaeologists!

3 Ready to Begin! We arrived at the site and began to learn about the equipment and the procedures we would be using. The site was closed when we arrived, and our first jobs were to open it up, and to start digging to look for more areas to excavate.

4 The Landowners

5 The farm

6

7 The tools are carried to sites in this trailer

8

9 Getting ready to dig!

10 This is an archaeologist’s kit. What do you think these tools might be used for?

11 Shovels need to be kept sharp!

12 Walking to the site.

13 This is what the site looked like when we arrived. It had been covered for the winter.

14 A covered feature with a photo of what it looked like before it was covered.

15 We dug…

16 Here we are looking for a feature. First you remove the “plow zone,” and then you look for stains that indicate organic activity.

17 And we dug…

18 You have to skim the soil off a little at a time when you reach the bottom of the plow zone.

19 And we dug!!!!!

20 Still looking for a feature!

21 It was so hot the lens of my camera fogged up!

22 Some new areas were tested by clearing a 2m² area.

23 We also did shovel tests.

24 A two shovel-width hole is dug; you go down about six inches below the plow zone to see if you find something.

25 Some features were found

26 Do you see the different colors of soil?  

27 Look for the stain. 

28 Feature borders were defined and plan maps were drawn

29

30 Features are carefully measured and graphed.  Notice the paperwork?

31 Excavation began

32 Features are excavated one half at a time

33 Profile Wall A profile wall allows you to see the feature shape and depth. 

34 Soil at the very top of a level is collected to take back to the lab for analysis. It is called a matrix sample.

35 We took off only 5 cm of soil for each level.

36 You have to measure often to be sure you only take off 5 cm soil at a time.

37 Soil is collected in buckets

38 All soil needs to be screened for artifacts. This is a ¼ inch screen.

39 Sometimes levels are removed in “zones.”

40 The walls of the feature must be carefully maintained.

41 Don’t step on the edge of the profile wall! The wall will cave in!

42 Soil is very carefully removed so that no artifact is harmed.

43 A trowel removes the soil a little at a time so you don’t miss, or break any artifacts. 

44 You might have to “pedestal” around the artifact.

45 Can you see the pedestal?

46 Sometimes a paintbrush is used.

47 A bamboo scoop might protect the artifact. 

48 If an artifact is found, it must be put in a bag and carefully labeled.

49 A photograph is taken at each level including information of exact placement of the feature.

50 Paperwork is an important part of the process.

51 Paperwork is done at each step.

52 Count the people doing paperwork!

53 Some people found great artifacts!

54 Large pieces of Oneota pottery.

55 A closer view of a large pot sherd.

56 A close up of the pot sherd once it was removed.

57 You can still see the finger markings from when the pot was formed, over 500 years ago.  

58 Features are covered for the night.

59 Covering helps keep the soil from drying out.

60 We saw the artifacts that the landowners have found.

61 Projectile Points Most of their artifacts were found when they plowed the fields.

62 A rare woven bag was found on a shelf in a rock shelter. They kept careful records about where the items were found.

63 A metate, used to grind corn, along with a mano.

64 Pieces of Pottery

65

66 This is the Ulna of a Mastodon. (Elbow, lower arm)

67 We learned activities for our classes

68 Making beads with clay.

69 The pottery needs to be fired.

70 Flintknapping is the art of stone shaping.

71 Making a projectile point.

72 We learned to work with copper. This is copper when it is just picked up off the ground.

73 We hammered the copper to flatten it and take out the impurities.

74 Hammered Copper Copper can be hammered together to make bigger pieces.

75 We learned how to make drills.

76 Drill Bits

77 The bow drill made drilling easier. They also learned to use this to make fire.

78 The pump drill was a technological advance.

79 An atlatl is used to throw a spear farther.

80 The spear is hooked onto the atlatl.

81 The spear releases and goes where you aim it.

82 Unless you’re Mrs. Valenta; then it only goes three feet! (I can practice!)

83 We visited the lab

84 Soil must be dried before it is analyzed.

85 A fine mesh screen will be used to strain things from the soil.

86 A process called “floating” finds charcoal and other small items.

87 Very small items such as seeds are found by screening through a fine screen, and bagged up in a piece of cloth.

88 The pieces in the cloth are dried, and will be analyzed.

89 All soil is washed away.

90 Flakes found in a matrix sample.

91 Artifacts are analyzed in the lab.

92 A microscope is used to separate small items.

93 All artifacts need to be washed.

94 Artifacts are handled carefully.

95 Notice that items are kept with their labels.

96 Artifacts are then dried.

97 All information is kept in order so we know where the artifact came from.

98 Each artifact gets its own number.

99 Each number is painted onto the artifact it corresponds to.

100 You need a steady hand!

101 If pieces that are found together fit, they are glued together.

102 A special adhesive is carefully applied.

103 Pieces are held together until they adhere.

104 The pottery pieces are supported while they dry.

105 Sometimes many pieces can be found and glued together.

106 Artifacts are stored after they have been cataloged.

107 There are many interesting things in Archaeological Museums. This is a replica of a mussel shell hoe.

108 This is a Mammoth tooth

109 Can you see the difference between the mammoth tooth and the mastodon tooth?

110 This is a replica of a Bison scapula (shoulder blade) hoe.

111 This is how the hoe is used. This one is getting worn out.

112 This is a replica of a rattle made from deer toes.

113 These are grinding stones, called a mano and metate.

114 We went on field trips

115 Woodland Indians built mounds Perrot State Park, Wisconsin

116 Effigy Mounds are built in the shape of animals

117 Effigy mounds are difficult to see since they are so large. This is the deer effigy mound.

118 Various animal shapes are used.

119 The Wolf Mound

120 Mounds are also found in conical and linear shapes.

121 Conical Mounds in Perrot State Park

122 A replica of rock art found in Wisconsin.

123 A Rock Shelter in Perrot State Park.

124 Big enough to house 25!

125 Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa

126 The mounds are built on a high ridge over the Mississippi River.

127 Linear mounds sometimes connect conical mounds.

128 In Wisconsin, a cemetery was built on Woodland Indians’ conical mounds.

129 Did they know where they were putting the cemetery?

130 Cemeteries are sacred places.

131 Mounds are sacred places.

132 Note: This PowerPoint presentation was created by a teacher participating in an ESEA Title II grant-funded project for use in the teachers' classrooms. It reflects the individual’s experience at a particular site and is not intended to accurately reflect what happens on all archaeological investigations around the country or world. The teacher participated in professional development activities provided by: Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center University of Wisconsin - La Crosse 1725 State Street La Crosse, WI Web site: All material Copyright © Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse


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