(Journal Entry from July 13th
Yesterday (today) was Public Day, culmination #1 of our work this summer. Every field school summer, we partner with the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society to offer the public a tour of the site and a barbeque lunch for a suggested donation. This year around 220 people showed up between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.! There were five stops with about ten minutes of presentation per stop: Nathan and Alissa at Housepit 1 with an overview, Petra and Maddy at Housepit 4, Grace and Anna at Housepit 6 talking about the 2013 work and lab results, Mike and I at Housepit 7, and Lindsay (Housepit 9 and rock sourcing), Allysa, and Rachel at Housepit 8 and 9.
Overall, Public Day went pretty well. We had been lead to believe that we would be constantly overwhelmed and would often have to hurry groups on to the next stop, but we actually had a lot more time than expected. Mike and I forded questions on the population of the houses, the environment, where the artifacts were now and where they would be going, burials, and dogs as pets and/or food.
We gobbled down lunch in bits along the way, but by the time we finished and packed up about 3:30 p.m., I was very excited to go to Sleep Is For Sissies for an early dinner. I had wild lox (salmon) on a bagel with cream cheese and sprouts. It taste so good after our long day! When we returned to camp, I was almost tempted to follow Molly up to the field and bed at 6:30 p.m., but I am glad that I stayed up. Nearly everyone played a fun game that Grace introduced us to. Like charades, everyone writes down a few things for people to guess and puts the slips of paper into a bowl. Then you split the group into two teams. Each team has three minutes to get through as many slips as possible. But the interesting part is the levels: Level 1 – Catch Phrase-style (say anything except the words on the paper), Level 2 – one word only; Level 3 – traditional charades; Level 4 – one sound. Needless to say, it got pretty hilarious with a group of college students!
Well, we finally experienced some of that infamous Northwest rain today. But at least thunder seems to be Housepit 7’s good luck charm! We found two possible features today!
After a pretty poor night’s sleep (I blame the sugar in Grower’s) of course, the photographer came to take promotional type pictures of us “working.” We all wore our SNAP t-shirts again (we had to wear them yesterday too). He took pictures of us in our housepits and with some of our artifacts – there’s even a picture of me looking through the hole in my elk pelvis! The pictures significantly slowed down work, but at least now I can be the poster child of SNAP!
I worked in Unit 68E 153N again today, finishing the level for the Stratum III-5 hole and then working on the rest of the Stratum III level. At one point, I brought back a cool rock from the screen and Nathan just happened to walk by, see it, examine it, and declare it might be ground, making it an artifact. But more excitingly, I found a quarter circle of redder soil in the southwest corner associated with some charcoal and big fire-cracked rocks that may be a feature! Nathan and Alissa think that we may have also found the central fire hearth farther over, but Emily and I are a bit doubtful because the area has not produced many artifacts. Unfortunately, the rain and thunder that had been menacing us since about noon decided to drop their full force on us shortly after we discovered those features, so we had to pack up early. Tomorrow we shall see!
I went through and mapped our artifact distribution this afternoon which turned out pretty interesting but unclear in definitive meaning. We have 91 lithic artifacts and 36 (plus one elk pelvis) faunal remains! Exciting!
If you are interested in learning more about the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society or the Rail Trail itself, please check out this link: http://slocanvalleyrailtrail.ca/membership.html.