Earlier I talked about lighting and how it affects artifacts or rather viewing of same in the field.
My Site Steward partner and I had discovered a new site. We asked our Land Manager, an Archaeologist, to come out with us and officially record the site for the Arizona Site Office. This recording gives it an official number and map plotting for future Archaeologists.
On site we take her to our datum – a rock feature.
We start walking the site and there are no artifacts!
We had done a full pin flag, controlled inventory/survey just months before and had the artifact list with us.
Now, no artifacts? Boy! How embarrassing. We were wasting the Land Manager’s time and we sure looked like idiots!
I walked away to sit by myself and think about this embarrassing - revolting - development.
On the surface next to me - obsidian flake - then sherd - then more lithics! I called out to the others and showed them the artifacts.
Soon they too began calling out artifacts they saw. Jasper flakes, tools, cores, chalcedony flakes, pottery sherds, ground stone and since we were next to the Rail Road lots of historic glass and metal.
Lighting! With the passing of a few minutes and the sun’s movement across the skies the artifacts once again began to reveal themselves!
At the end of the recording session, the Land Manager said, “This is an exciting and wonderful site.”