Friday, September 3, 2010

Long Legs

We were at Flaming Gorge, Utah just north of Dutch John. Don’t you love that name? It conjures up the ole Wild West in my mind! Horses and gun slinging cowboys!

We had 15 students in Bonnie’s Archaeology Field School, all brand new to Archaeology. It was our job to teach them the right way.

We had spent days on excavation techniques and it was time to get them out to survey.

I was crew chief for 4 students: 2 tiny young ladies and 2 very long legged young men.

Archaeology survey is a very tight drill. We transect an area spaced about 5 meters apart. Going off track is a real no! No! One is surveying for a reason, to find what is there and plot it correctly.

I had given instructions to my crew about calling out artifacts when they saw them and the need to stay in a tight side-by-side line.

The morning survey went well and I was so proud of them. The ladies had stayed in line to my left and the men to my right doing it just right with a few minor off track instances - those long legs raring to go.

After the lunch break we started up again.

We were in a large, high grass, field near the base of a small knoll. I noticed the 4 long legs were not at my right as they were supposed to be. They had strayed up the knoll about 25 meters from me.

As luck would have it I spotted a grass covered rusty mass to my right. Two long legs should have found it. It was on his transect path.

I called, “Hey, you are too far off track. Come on back”

They responded, “We can see everything from here. We are fine.”

“Then you saw this car!” I called.

Four long legs roared down to the spot, very embarrassed but thrilled with the early 1920’s car that they could not claim as having spotted!

Somehow the 1920’s car didn’t meet my ole Wild West imagination of horses and gun slinging cowboys but it sure made a good strong impression on the 4 legs in survey techniques!

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