Scientists at work: Public archaeologists dig before the construction crews do

Started by gash, September 01, 2016, 12:24:13 pm

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gash



Armed with my sharpened trowel, 3-meter tape, shovel, shaker screen and peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I joined my first dig as part of Binghamton University's Public Archaeology Facility back in 1975.

Crews of archaeologists were shovel testing the proposed route of Interstate 88 from Binghamton to Albany, New York. I was so excited at the prospect of discovering archaeological sites, and hoping one would become the basis for my master's thesis.

After eight weeks wrapped up with no significant discoveries, panic set in - I would never finish my degree! Then, on an overcast and hot day, with a mass of mosquitoes swarming around my bandana-clad head, I descended with my crew into a glade adjacent to a pristine bog. I rammed my shovel into the ground, poured the soil into the shaker screen and heard what sounded like coins hitting the metal mesh. It was hundreds of pieces of chert debitage, the flake by-products of stone tool manufacturing. I had discovered my first prehistoric site. Our whole team was elated, and I had my thesis topic.

Full article here : http://www.heritagedaily.com/2016/08/scientists-at-work-public-archaeologists-dig-before-the-construction-crews-do/112534
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