So I came back from Mexico this summer, and also did some field work in Mississippi, but unfortunately can’t add more pictures online since my camera and phone were stolen. The summer was excellent, I learned a great deal and post my reactions on the summer soon. Today’s post is to show off some pictures I took with my new camera and to summarize my presentation for the Southeastern Archaeology Conference.
The biggest news is that we have a new building on campus, shown above. This used to be the home of the geography department and the Middle American Research Institute, but now it all belongs to Anthropology, with MARI on the third floor. Chris has a great lab in the building and once I have some artifacts to deal with, I’ll be doing my artifact analysis in there.
Above is a picture of me in a sukkah on campus, sukkot was last week and these were up everywhere.
So, moving on to my work for this coming Southeastern Archaeology Conference. This will be my second talk about the Carson Mounds site, and I’ll be focusing on some geophysical research we’ve conducted out there. In the summer of 2009, we conducted two weeks of sediment coring – based on our findings, it appears the site was built on a linear E-W crevasse splay. This crevasse deposit may have interrupted construction at some of the mounds as sandy loam soils appear in a ubiquitous layer across portions of the site. This is particularly interesting because it suggests the site was built in a dynamic environmental zone, contrary to many other Mississippian sites in the Delta built on relict oxbows.
My SEAC paper evaluates the utility of the down-hole magnetic susceptibility studies we did at the site. The down-hole meter measures the magnetic capability of soils down the bore hole made by the Giddings rig. The idea is that anthropogenic soils will have a stronger magnetic reading as they have greater amounts of carbon – this method is useful when coring through massive and visually undifferentiated soils. I’m still working on the write up currently, but it appears this method of investigation showed us at least a few horizons that were not detected through visual assessment.