Archaeology Field Journal – June 15, 2007 – Day 7

A new day at Oloololo began with a twofold plan; begin excavation on one of the grid squares and work towards finishing our site map. Kyle, William and I were tasked with the later. All the surface artifacts had been plotted the day before, now we just needed to shoot random points on the landscape in order to finish our contours. Our original estimate was that 17 shots would be sufficient enough, but we ended up shooting just over 40. Meanwhile, Jordan, Laura, Katie, John, and Magdalene began excavating the unit where we discovered the artifacts in situ yesterday. Sieving artifacts in Magadi High Bed matrix has got to be the messiest job known to man. It was dirty work but they they did good.

After our contour map was completed, my group was tasked with hiking back over to the Engilata site we discovered a few days before to get the GPS coordinates. It was a quick and easy task. We saw a few animals on the way; a giant secretary bird, a small dik-dik skittering up the western ridge and even a nest of eggs. The thing I love about working out in the African wilderness is that you never know what you are going to see from day to day. For example, when we leave camp in the morning, sometimes we’ll see zebra- a whole herd grazing next to the road, other days we’ll see a herd of giraffe watching us from behind the trees, or a herd of Maasai cows trampling down the road in front of us. Variation is the spice of life I guess, and I can’t think of a better place to experience variety.

We returned to Oloololo with the coordinates and with the little amount of time left, Dr. Barthelme gave us a square to excavate. Today will go down in history as the first day I wielded a trowel, right next to the discovery of electricity and the invention of the microprocessor. Unfortunately it was so late in the afternoon, I only got to work for a few minutes, but I cut through that matrix like a professional I can tell you that. Work will resume on Sunday, two days from now.

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