Archaeology is often a slow, labour intensive, process; we have been digging at the house floor in the cranberry bog for three weeks now, and the video below shows how we spend a typical two hours. You will note that we often spend more time measuring, writing, and recording than we do moving dirt. Because archaeology is destructive, we have to be very meticulous in our documentation procedures – the site is destroyed in the archaeological process and we cannot go back if we miss anything. We are also putting more effort into the excavation of this dwelling than in a typical project by screening all sediments through 3mm mesh to increase recovery of small bones and artifacts, piece plotting all formal artifacts, and excavating and bagging all materials by 25 cm quadrants within our 1m x 1m grids. We have discovered that careful documentation of the position of all the artifacts can tell us much about how ancient Mi’kmaq organized their space inside wigwam-like dwellings.
The video below was recorded over two hours, between 8:45 AM and 10:45 AM, on July 26th. The video incorporates over 4000 individual photographs.
Despite all the tedium of measuring, recording, and mapping, we’ve been finding some interesting artifacts, particularly in the chipped stone assemblage.