A Day of Day of Archaeology (and Snails)

I become quite self-conscious when the time comes to write my own Day of Archaeology contribution. Most of what I did yesterday was to carefully read through the posts that were being submitted to this site, adding new tags or assigning them to categories where necessary, and pressing the button marked ‘publish’. If you’re reading this, the chances are you’ve been reading other posts too, and have a fair sense of what the site is about. I love doing this, I learn quite a lot about the world of archaeology in a day (and subsequent days when I catch up on posts I didn’t catch at the time), and it makes me feel very connected to a group of people worldwide who are doing really interesting jobs. As with last year, I’m full of gratitude for everyone who posted, or commented on posts.

I did squeeze in a little bit of other work. I spent part of the morning processing a very small sample I took from a site on the Somerset Levels here in England. Archaeologists will often take samples of the dirt they’re digging to be sieved through fine mesh (mine went through 0.1mm today – but 0.5 or 0.25 are more usual). This is to look for tiny artefacts, or biological evidence such as fish bones or seeds. My tiny sample accompanies a much larger sample (c. 40 litres) that will be processed later. I just wanted to get a head start to help the other archaeologists on site know what they were dealing with. (more…)