A day in the life of an archaeologist: 7-9-14
Today started early as I left the house at 6:45am to meet with a client at 7:15am. The meeting was supposed to involve a discussion of the findings of archaeological excavation in Chester County. Instead of discussing the significance of the archaeological finds, a different situation arose that needed attention. A project, for which the cultural resources work was completed four years ago, was set to go to construction. Unfortunately, the planned construction access area had just been blocked by the installation of a new utility pole. Construction access could be undertaken by another route, but that route had not be evaluated previously. In addition to a possibility of archaeological impacts, the new access area lay within a listed historic district and adjacent to two historic properties. The new access route needed to be evaluated for potential impacts to cultural resources, and quickly, or, because of scheduling related to endangered species habitats, construction could be delayed for a year. Fortunately I had forgotten [as I often do] to remove my laptop from my car, and so was able to use it to connect to my office, collect files from four years past, and verbally address the issues at hand. By 11am I was back to the office working on preparing documentation describing the proposed work, the preservation of the landscape using geotextiles, and the lack of impact by the proposed work. By 5:30pm the documentation was sailing through the ether to the client for review. I arrived home by 6:30 pm with the thought that tomorrow would begin early with a meeting to discuss review comments on the construction access, and maybe, just maybe, there would be time to discuss the archaeological excavations in Chester County.
Kenneth J. Basalik, Ph.D.
President – Cultural Heritage Resource Services, Inc.
Lansdale, Pennsylvania (USA)