This. Was. So. Cool.
It’ll be even cooler next year when we can spend more time in the field. As it was, we dug for about an hour and then spent four hours in the lab cleaning rocks with toothbrushes.
Which, I suppose is more like actual archaeology than, say, Indiana Jones.
We drove out to Lyons, Kansas, where we had our orientation and intro class. The trainer in me was inwardly rewriting the course so that it could be an e-learning and get us out in the field faster. Because I bought all these cool tools.
So the site we were at, the Tobias site, is 14RC8. When the numbering system started Kansas was the fourteenth state in alphabetical order. *shakes fist at Alaska and Hawaii* RC stands for Rice County, and 8 means it is site number 8. I can’t tell you where it is, or I’d have to kill you.
It was a settlement of the Little River band of the Kanza or Quivera. We were in a 2mx2m grid, digging 10 or so cm. The square we had was maybe a hearth or something, because there what looked like an indentation lined with rocks? Or possibly I was making patterns where there weren’t patterns. The Husband took a corner that I figured was likely, as it was closer to the indentation. of course, I found a bone almost immediately. He found dirt. I found some chert shards from napping weapons. He found more dirt.
Then we went to the shaker and to paraphrase Taylor Swift, we “shook shook shook shook shook, we shook it off. We shook it off.”
Then it was lunch. Which in a town in western Kansas includes (generally) Casey’s which sells pizza, a Pizza Hut, a Sonic, and a Mexican restaurant. About 75% of the time, the Mexican restaurant is magnificent. Western Kansas has a thriving immigrant community, and we are the beneficiaries. It’s not the taco truck on every corner that we would have had with a President Clinton, but hopefully when this is all over, the Republic will still stand. Click the link, it’s about the best thing I’ve ever read.
We headed back to the lab, otherwise known as the Lyons high school cafeteria. We were given trays of minuscule rocks or bones to painstakingly clean with toothbrushes. In this, the Husband was the luckier one. He got an abrader and some mother of pearl. I got chert.
It was fun though, we had an archaeologist at each table to help us identify stuff.
Sunday wasn’t as good. Thunderstorms came through, so we couldn’t work in the field. Note: when the dudes I the field say “that road is in bad shape, take the paved one” BELIEVE THEM. We got out of there without getting stuck by the grace of four wheel drive and made it back to the high school. There were too many of us to be in the lab, so we bought some souvenirs and headed out. I bid on some stuff in the silent auction. I hope no one outbids me on a scholarly work about the probate records of early Kansans. Crosses fingers. 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻