Archaeology Field Journal – June 13, 2007 – Day 5

The sun was relentless today during our time at Oloololo. We arrived at the site shortly after 7am with plans to perform a site survey and collect samples. We established a grid around the most prospective areas, mainly the southern portion of the site. Excavations the previous year had revealed numerous faunal remains in this area; Dik-dik, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, Impala, Wildebeests, Zebra, and Leopard to name a few. Dr. Barthelme each assigned us an excavation square and we performed a site survey similar to the one we had performed at Olkena a few days earlier. We marked the most prospective materials with a white tag and a plastic baggy. The next step was to plot the items on graph paper using the alidade. I jumped at the opportunity to call the shots because I enjoy working with the alidade. We ended up shooting 29 artifacts of interest that day, things like eggshell fragments and articulated bones. By the time lunch rolled around I didn’t want to stop I had so much energy left in me. I think I was experiencing my first archaeological high.

On our way back to camp we stopped to give our Maasai night watchman, Mzee Olekukuu a ride. We have become a convenient mode of transportation for many of the local Maasai residing between camp and the site, but it’s the least we could do in return for their hospitality. The afternoon session was very low key; lunch, a nap and a crash course in faunal remains. We involved the Kenyatta students in a game of Frisbee later, which was a fantastic way to wind down the day. When the sun went down we roamed the campsite with flashlights and helped Dr. Barthelme catch spiders. Each night we manage to catch a few good specimens, some of them are quite large.

Tomorrow we are heading back to Oloololo to begin excavations. I can’t wait.

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