By Ryan Phillip
Photo: Ryan Phillip taking a break from excavating a STU.
After a late night, consisting of a group reading of “The Golden Marshalltown” around the campfire, I woke up late. I woke up to see that Frank, our Native American monitor, had brought us all donuts for breakfast. We drove out to our site and started work pretty quickly. Our group had a new unit today since we backfilled our previous one on Wednesday. Our unit was closer to the prehistoric site so our soil was much more workable and our artifact finds were more substantial. We enjoyed the lack of large river cobbles in our site, and our sidewalls were easier to maintain. We found multiple flakes per level, some possible grindstones, and plenty of that material we love to call “Questionable Quartz”, since there is so much quartz in the area, and it’s very hard to determine if the material is culturally modified. The group 20 meters to the north of us found the first obsidian flakes found in the STUs, which they were very excited about. The weather today was unseasonably cool, which was a great break for us from the hotter days. We finished up in the afternoon, said goodbye to Frank, and headed back to camp. After dinner, we had a brief discussion on an article about the importance of survey, and how data can be interpreted in different ways based on research design. The second article we read was a large report on several coastal and inland counties in California and the archaeological record previously recorded in the area all the way back to the Paleo-Indian period. Tomorrow we will re-record a site as a large group and come back to our excavations on Monday.