Archaeology Field Journal – June 18, 2007 – Day 10

A beautiful sunrise this morning followed by more work at Oloololo. Today was looking grim. We worked on our excavation squares all morning and found nothing. As the day dragged on we all began to doubt we’d find anything. I suggested we cut the walls and finish it up. As soon as Dr. Ngari swung the pickaxe to cut the north wall we discovered a rather large bone protruding into our excavation square. Bingo.

We immediately began clearing away the soil and discovered it was a zebra metapodial along with another shaft fragment. The zebra metapodial did not appear to contain any stone tool cut marks, but we did find two small holes that looked like canine marks. We added the artifacts to our site map, tagged and bagged them. We excavated the square all the way down to the Oloronga Green bed but did not manage to find anything else.

After a lunch of leftover goat, we sat down one on one with Dr. Barthelme and discussed our ten page papers for the course. I’ve been thinking about the topic since well before we arrived in Magadi. I found myself fascinated by the geology of the Rift Valley, something that peaked once we arrived in Magadi and I became familiar with the unique soil layers. My plan was to explore the way in which the geology of a site can help archaeologists recreate a paleoenvironment. Dr. B. gave me a few suggestions on where to focus my research and I felt more comfortable about writing the paper.

A while later Kesoi took us on a walking tour of the area. He led us west along the base of the ridge to check out some of the hyena dens. Let me be the first to say that Kesoi Ole Parseyio is one fearless Maasai. He literally crawled into the hyena dens to see if anyone was home and then began pulling out bone after bone for us to examine. One den yielded the remains of a porcupine and we all collected some quills to give out as gifts. The trail ended at a massive gorge that would be perfect for swimming in the rainy season. Jordan took this great picture of me showing off the dangerous side of archaeology.

We returned to camp for dinner, then we were out for the night.


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