Hey Everyone! Well, I’m back in New Orleans after a wonderful and productive field season, and now I’m ready to get to all of the lab work and computer stuff. First of all, I really need to take a minute to thank everyone who’s helped to make this a productive season. I had three great Tulane students with me, Michael, Jordan, and Jon, and Meg Kassabaum from UNC came and lent a hand for a while. Meredith Funeral home lent us their backhoe, the Archaeological Conservancy helped immensely with site logistics, Ole Miss lent me students and equipment as needed, and John Connaway from MDAH was super helpful in guiding me through my first excavation of a burned daub house. And I owe much gratitude to Rachel Stout-Evans of the NRCS for all of her hard work this year – we’re at 60 cores total! I also got some help from Quapaw Canoe company (thanks CH, aka RGIII) and the farm hands who keep the farm where Carson is located running. Clarksdale was super great to me this summer and deserves special recognition, especially the folks over at Quapaw Canoe, Hambone Arts, Ground Zero, and Yazoo Pass for the friendship, advice, and good times. I got to meet many great local musicians (there are so many!), check out Watermelon Slim http://www.watermelonslim.com/ and of course the All Night Long Band, http://www.myspace.com/allnightlongbluesband – So thank you Clarksdale, thank you Mississippi, and thanks to all the volunteers this year for helping me get through an amazing field season where we found a lot of great stuff and uncovered more than a few questions. Now I have a truck bed full of artifacts to process. And data to GIS. And sediments to cross-section. And, of course, a disseration to write. I couldn’t do this alone, and I’m fortunate to not have to.
I had some great visitors this season and am always glad to have more – Pam, Patty, Dr. Knight, and John O’Hear are just a few who came to give advice and see the operations.
The drive home back from the Delta was pretty enjoyable, I stopped in Drew, Belzoni, and Indianola on the way home, pretty cool towns with all kinds of history. I also stopped at Mississippi College and met with the chief archivist there, who showed me an old copy of the New Testament printed in Choctaw!
We pretty much stopped excavating the summit structure in the middle of the fourth and last week of excavations. We made some efforts further delineate another corner of the structure but it looks like it still remains elusive.
My most important task for the last week was to photograph as much of the summit excavations as I could. I really needed to get some elevation in order to capture my units, which spanned about 8 meters by 8 meters. I thought perhaps I could rig a balloon using techniques taught to me by the really cool folks over at Public Laboratory, http://publiclaboratory.org/home but I ended up going with a pole technique, which I think Nathan Craig uses – thanks to Scott at the Gulf Restoration network for the tip.
Once I get all my shots stitched together, I’ll post again with the final result. Until now all you get are a few shots. The image below shows at TU 8 and 9, as well as some parts of TU 16 and 10.
So the image below shows off all the work we did this summer – we got three big trenches open, and 8 summit units that were either 1×2 or 2×2. so man, we really moved a lot of dirt.
And however others may feel about him, I’m quite a fan of Jared Diamond, if not for his opinions, than for his skill at writing at a level that can be understood by everyone. Well, most everyone…