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Archaeology dig sites...have you participated?
Old 03-18-2013, 07:06 AM   #1
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Archaeology dig sites...have you participated?

When I retire in about a year, this is one of the things I would like to be involved with. Not having to work opens up opportunities for all the interests I never could pursue before.

Have any of you ever done such? What sites have you helped dig?
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:20 AM   #2
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Good for you! Personally, I have no interest in getting dirty to dig up other people's stuff, but I understand why you might want to.

Here is a link to a fascinating documentary on the recent discovery of the body of King Richard III under a car park in England. If the first link doesn't work, it is on YouTube as well.

Richard III: The King in the Car Park - Channel 4

Richard III: The King In The Car Park - YouTube
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:29 AM   #3
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Took my family to a private site in Idaho for a fossil dig a few years ago. I had helped run the 2009 world wide conference on evolution. As a thank you one of the local scientists invited me to his lot. It was so cool! Almost every rock opened had a fossil plant in it. Some were still green when opened! They quickly turned brown upon exposure to air. I came home with about 20 fossils that day.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:59 AM   #4
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My neighbor has an Chiricahua Apache village on his property that he is excavating. Last week I unearthed a pot still sitting on a cooking stone in place. That was exciting, the pot was in pieces after removal.

Pot pieces on cooking stone.

pot 2.jpg
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:44 AM   #5
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Janet Stephens’s research takes her from museum to library – and she even learned German to study documents which helped uncover the elaborate coiffures of antiquity.

Meet the ‘hair archaeologist’ who recreates hairdos from history

I will never complain again about the time it takes to blow dry my hair!
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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When I was younger and working as a commercial diver, I was airlifting gravel from a river bed in about 20' of water in Ozark MO. About 5 feet down in some gravel I came across an enormous horse shoe from what had to be a draft horse. I have shown it to a couple of farriers who said they had never seen anything so big in modern horses. It was custom forged by a blacksmith when the area was first settled. Still had hand wrought nails in it from when the horse threw it. It is hanging above my shop door, and I often contemplate on how it came to be there and the story behind it. I am fascinated by history. ��
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:03 PM   #7
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:32 PM   #8
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I looked that over Khan. There's a whole world out there! It looks like much of the travel expenses can be deducted as expenses, too! Hmmmm...
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:14 PM   #9
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As a kid (not even 10, I'm sure) I helped a guy fill in some banked areas with solid fill (which included broken glass, old chunks of concrete, bricks, etc.). Eventually that land was sold and eventually sold again. The eventual owner was cutting a driveway into the property and I stopped by to see what had happened in the intervening years. Absolutely nothing! Everything was still there, just as it had been left almost 60 years ago.

I can see why Archaeology could be fascinating. I spent the better part of an hour remembering the stuff being dug out of that bank. Imagine finding "trash" that dates back 1000 or even 4000 years. Imagine what those folks thought of that trash. Imagine why they got rid of it. What might that trash tell us about our connection to those folks (were they really that different than we are?).

If the opportunity ever presents, I think I would be interested in a local dig. I can't see traveling around the world for it, but I would be quite interested to help locally - even if only to sift soil, looking for artifacts. YMMV
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
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I have participated in a number of summer field schools with the Texas Archeological Society over the last 15 years or so. It is always an interesting and educational week to "dig Texas."

This year they are taking over Medina County...

TAS Field School 2013 | Texas Archeological Society | TAS | Archeology | Anthropology | Conservation | Paleontology | Preservation | Restoration
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:54 AM   #11
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That's interesting Mickey...Here's the link to the one I posted about here in SC...
You have some of the same interests...
Site Introduction | The Johannes Kolb Archaeological Site

I also have a collection of my own mortars, points, and artifacts I have found. I'm out in the woods a good bit and that has always been an interest. After retirement, all these kinds of interests can be funneled put to good use with other like minds.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:42 AM   #12
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Can't claim to be an archaeologist, but did dome "digging" back in the early 1950's on the Maine coast in "shell middens". ( It was in my junior year at Bowdoin.) Middens are huge shell heaps created by the empty shells left by indians who lived in Maine between 5,000 and 2,500 years ago.
Huge, meaning literal mountains of heaps more than a 100 yards wide and out from hills on the shoreline by the same distance, and more than 30 feet high.
Until the early 1930's these shell heaps were mostly utilized by fertilizer companies. Now, some of the heaps are marginally protected for archaeological purposes.
Digging at the time we were there was a little bit chancy, as the clam and oyster shells are very sharp, and even with gloves, we came away cut up and bloody. In the few times we went to dig, we found shards of pottery and some very crude tools for breaking shells, as well as some flint (fist sized) knives, (or so we thought).
It's hard to consider Indians, in Maine, as long as 5,000 years ago.
Here's one of the articles about the subject.
Chapter 4
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Redbugdave View Post
That's interesting Mickey...Here's the link to the one I posted about here in SC...
You have some of the same interests...
Site Introduction | The Johannes Kolb Archaeological Site

I also have a collection of my own mortars, points, and artifacts I have found. I'm out in the woods a good bit and that has always been an interest. After retirement, all these kinds of interests can be funneled put to good use with other like minds.
Thanks for that link. They do seem quite alike.

One of the things that I have picked up over the years is that it is a good idea for private collectors, like yourself, to record in some manner what you have collected and where in your state that it was collected (GPS is good for this). Our state has a data base that can be added to when a new "site" is discovered or additional artifacts have been located on an already-recorded site. A single mortor, point, lithic procurement site etc can be enough to record a site. Not sure if all states have such a system, but I bet that many (most?) do. Archeologists seem to rely on a lot of data to be able to identify and possibly excavate valuable prehistoric and historic locations and your data could be a big help to drawing up "the big picture".
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:54 PM   #14
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It's hard to consider Indians, in Maine, as long as 5,000 years ago.
Here's one of the articles about the subject.
Chapter 4

Thanks for that. Most habitation in the US goes back to the Clovis period, about 12500 years ago. Much new evidence indicates that it may go back even further than that. When the Pilgrims first landed in 1620, and the settlers of Jamestown in 1610 or so, they both discovered a thriving native population that was quite sophisticated. One can only speculate.
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