We managed to break free from our unending excavation for a brief time
(which was spent writing reports, bleh), but we have once again returned to our lovely array of sites for what is known as Stage II excavations. The first round of excavations left us with several questions about the sites: the age of the deepest occupation levels, activity areas across the sites, etc. Our governing body agreed that that was too many questions, so here we are again. It feels a little like coming back home, which I’m not sure is a good thing. I love the sites but I miss the excitement of going to new completely unheard of small towns, experiencing their limited restaurant options and slightly sketchy hotels.
We had left some of the old units open in anticipation that we would be back; however, the weather has been harsh on them and there was some areas of bad collapse that had to be dealt with first. The sand is a pleasure to excavate but it really doesn’t keep itself together very well. I feel like some days if you look at it wrong you’ll cause a whole wall to slump.
But soon enough that was taken care of and it was back to laying in units and screening sod – for those unfamiliar with screening sod, it is generally one of the most loathsome parts of excavations.
You meticulously remove the dense root mat from the top of your excavation unit and then repeatedly try to mash it through a mesh screen looking for any artifacts caught in the roots. There is usually a fair amount of ripping and tearing apart of it; the really dried out sod, which we had plenty of, is particularly stubborn about going through the screen. Honestly, you almost never find anything good in the sod but maybe one of these days….