An Unexpected Occupation

Everything seems so incredibly deep when you're only 23 cm tall.

Everything seems so incredibly deep when you’re only 23 cm tall.

To our great surprise, we discovered a very deep occupation at our site – right on top of the glacial clay, 2m below ground level. Very cool but also very hard to get at – the high water table kind of gets in the way when you’re trying to look at the sand.

It took 4 pumps running round the clock to keep the water level low enough for digging.

It took 4 pumps running round the clock to keep the water level low enough for digging.

But, we’re always up for a new and exciting challenge, so add shoring construction (mustn’t neglect our safety of course) and sump pump installation to our growing skill set. I assisted as best I could with construction; however, due to my highly absorbent nature I let the more resilient crew members do the really wet work.

IMG_2461The wet environment also posed some problems for the artifacts themselves. The rocks held up nicely, but the bones were in a very soggy, fragmented state I am sad to say.

Why bone, why are you so crumbly??

Why bone, why are you so crumbly??

They looked beautiful in the ground but as soon as you tried to remove them you were left holding a pile of tiny bone fragments. We’ve also discovered that the water table was rather devious and leached all of the collagen out of the bone making radiocarbon dating a futile endeavor.

But to make up for that, this mysterious lower occupation also yielded up some highly unusual projectile points.

Map its location first, then take it out and play with it.

Map its location first, then take it out and play with it.

They’re thin and well-made which doesn’t really fit with how old we think the time period is – at the moment we believe it to be the transition period from Early to Middle Prehistoric period (7 – 9,000 years old). But we love a good mystery and will do some further research into them (for a closer view of the point check my About page).

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