Sunday, June 6, 2010

Goof Up

Lubbock Lake is well known in the archaeological literature as a Paleo-Indian and Archaic site. I decided to sign up with EARTHWATCH for a couple of weeks of excavation, mainly to work in a bone field, which I had not done before.

By this time, I had worked on a number of Hohokam sites in the Arizona SE area where the artifacts were well diversified. Stone tools and flakes, decorated and plainware pottery and ground stone were all very common to me.

I was less familiar with bone. When we found bone we always had the crew chief check it in-situ, as it could be hints of burial.

At Lubbock Lake I was assigned the usual 1 x 1 meter pit.

Scrape and lo and behold bone! We were digging a possible archaic bison kill site.

Bones were tagged with red flagging tape then point provenienced before they were bagged and sent to the lab.

More scrapping—more bone. And so the days went by scrape – bone.

One day I had a nice little jasper side scraper in my pit and did the usual point proveniencing, mapping, tagging, bagging and made comments in my notes.

Off to the lab it went.

I didn’t think anything about it as I mentioned earlier, I was familiar with the commonness of stone artifacts, including tools, in the desert of Arizona.

I was called to the main site area by the crew chief, Jose from Costa Rica, who was resoundingly upset.

“You turned in a lithic (stone artifact) to the lab yesterday!”

“Yes, I did. I provenienced it, drew it on my map, bagged and tagged it and made the appropriate notes. Did I do wrong?”

“You should have called someone over to see it in-situ!

We don’t find many of those here.”


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