It’s not often I publish pictures of myself here at Testimony of the spade but I got these pictures of me in the field taken by fellow archaeologist Joel Berglund and I thought it might be a good idea to give evidence that I actually do some work as well as blogging. Here I am behind Totte (Swedish nickname for Total station) at the Skepplanda excavation.
Photo © Joel Berglund 2009
Photo © Joel Berglund 2009
Not about archaeology but perhaps not far away of becoming an artifact.
Have a nice weekend!
Today dark clouds covered the sky and the rain have been falling more or less the whole day, most of the time in form of a drizzle. Now this does not stop an archaeologist in the field all that happens is that you get dirty.
Among other things I found this nice double edged flint scrape.
I also found my peaked cap that I lost a few days ago, I’ve been morning it a little as it’s been my companion the last few years in the field and has a really good fit. But on my way to the local supermarket what did I find if not my cap – some nice soul had hanged it on a pole – Thank you whoever you are!
It’s been ruffed up a bit but nothing the washer won’t be able to fix.
Day 8 at the Skepplanda 32 excavation dealt a mixed hand; a bit of rain, a good deal of sun and some wind to top it off. It all started with horses though, two had escaped and was finding our excavation site a nice enough place (sorry no photos).
Obviously not all that glimmer in the ground is from the Pitted Ware Culture (ca 3200 – 2300 BC), today we found an arrow head from the late Neolithics (ca 2350 -1700 BC).
The excavation continues, though a lot of nice flints and some ceramics we’ve still haven’t found any traces of the settlement itself, no postholes, no cocking pits and no hearths. Well we’ve found one hearth but it’s probably Iron Age and not Stone Age though a C14 analysis will settle that at a later date. The flints and the ceramics are from the Neolithic pitted ware culture.
At the moment it’s my task to excavate and document it; as seen on the picture below the SW quadrant have been dug so far, ca 1 x 1 m and 0,15 m deep. I’ve only found a few scattered flints at the bottom of the hearth, if they are part of the hearth or not is anyone’s guess at the moment; if they are it might be Stone Age if they aren’t it’s probably of a newer date.
As you can see there are a lot of stones, most affected by the fire and found in a layer filled with ash and coal.
This afternoon I got a curious visitor, a slow worm (Anguis fragilis) or in kopparorm (in Swedish) is a lizard that in Sweden is called a snake and in English a worm.
Returning to the title of this post. At this dig I’ve been appointed head of measurements; which means I constantly needs to find measure slaves (people to hold the lath), though the instrument isn’t the newest it is kind of nice to relax behind it and watch people run around at your whim.
It’s been a hot couple of days with lots of sun, but all is well in Skepplanda due to lots and lots of water and some nice finds that keeps the spirits high.
In this picture at the S part of the settlement a search shaft has been made wherein we’ve found several nice flints, among them a few arrow heads and next to it in a newer search pit (not seen in this picture) we’ve found parts of a stone axe.
In this picture is the NNW part within a part of arable land, used up until last year.
This part of the field we ploughed and then harrowed. As it has been ploughed up until now the ploughing init self does not harm the settlement, after the harrowing we’ve field walked the area and collected finds, mostly flints and measured them with a total station, from this we can see the spread of finds within the area. These finds are not in its orginal place but show general patterns. We will harrow the field three times and do field walks to get a good picture then we’ll start to excavate this area.