The Necessary and the Mundane: Site Forms

After the fieldwork has wrapped up and everyone comes home, there are still tasks yet to be accomplished.  Today I am performing the rather unglamourous and mundane chore of creating site forms for a batch of new sites we stumbled across a few weeks ago.  These forms, which document pertinent information such as location, features, material, etc., are produced for every site and isolated find that an archaeologist stumbles upon here in the States and they vary in form and complexity from state to state.  When you are assigned to a multi-state project (re: pipelines and high voltage transmission lines), you will quickly become proficient in upwards of half a dozen variations on the basic site form.

Examples of site forms (Colorado, Wyoming, Washington State, Montana and North Dakota)

Examples of site forms (Colorado, Wyoming, Washington State, Montana and North Dakota).

It takes very little time to become proficient at creating site forms.  They quickly become something you can do en masse while listening to music, podcasts and such to reduce the tedium that comes with the process.  However, you have to aware at all times that the form you are creating will be associated with its site for posterity.  It will assist generations of yet unborn archaeologists to find the site once again and may provide crucial data for future studies and research.  In sum, when you are creating a site form (mundane and dull as it may seem) you are forging the first link in a chain that may span years, decades or even centuries.