By Natalie Jess
There are many important things to the enthusiastic archaeologist: a sturdy trowel, straight profiles, beautiful cross-sections, bug spray, nice weather, a tolerant crew, and perhaps most importantly, a well-packed, hearty lunch.
Here at the E’se’get Archaeology project we are blessed to have our very own in-camp cook, Laurie, who prepares delicious meals for us every evening. It has become routine for many of us on this project to bring along leftovers from these meals for our lunches (which are just as amazing the next day) while others have to suffer with sandwiches and crackers; the downfall of not claiming the remainder of supper before everyone else.
However, worse than missing out on leftovers is having your lunch stolen in the field. And yes, it’s been happening. Not by fellow archaeologists but by common forest dwellers: squirrels and chipmunks. They will, without fail, sneak into your pack and eat your lunch, if you leave a zipper open or clasp undone.
They will eat your left over leftovers, granola bars from the wrapper, and cookies from your hand. They’re determined little critters who are both curious and hungry for a taste of archaeology and what archaeologists eat.
They are a constant and pleasant distraction but they are also a consistent reminder to those of us doing archaeology in Port Joli: archaeology can be an invasive and somewhat destructive discipline. Filling in your trenches, cleaning up your site, and appreciating your surroundings, down to the last thieving squirrel, are all part of this exciting job.