Whispering Woods Phase II began in earnest last Friday, Sept 12th. The students all managed to find our site and drive down a dirt track in cars that were never designed to leave asphalt. Our class started with “How to Dig a Shovel Test Pit (STP)”. This gave the students a chance to use the tools, practice screening, and see how the layers of soil change before being let loose. After a successful rehearsal, we began on Whispering Woods site 7.
Site 7 (28-Sa-199) is the second-smallest of the nine sites that make up Whispering Woods (0.18 acres, 717 square meters, 7,715 square feet). It is located on a flat upland in an agricultural field which is currently growing soy beans. The students were very careful to keep disturbance to the soy at a minimum. The artifacts recovered from Site 7 during the Phase I survey consists of one piece of sandstone fire-cracked rock (FCR), two pieces of quartz debitage, one chert flake, one jasper flake, and one sherd of white granite. No diagnostic prehistoric artifacts were found at the site and the site was not recommended by further testing. The State HPO, however, has requested that Site 7 undergo Phase II excavation. Due to the low density of artifacts, our Phase II at Site 7 will consist of additional STPs set at 20ft intervals. A 100ft x 100ft grid was laid out on Saturday, Sept 6, making a total of 36 STPs for this site. The result is an excavation of 1% of the total area of Site 7.
It was slow-going on Friday – only natural for the first day of digging. Let’s see if we can pick up the pace this week!