Finishing up at the Mission

Last Friday was my last day on site at the Mission.  All of the burials are out of the ground now, so the secrecy surrounding the dig can be relaxed a bit.  I still wish that I would have been allowed to have a camera on site, as there were some interesting bits in the round house feature that I would have liked to share, and the surrounding landscape was beautiful–all palm trees and rolling golden hills dotted with the dark green plumes of Monterey Cypress.  The PI also used a really complicated system to string up all the units, with built-in baulks that I would have liked to remember.  Should have drawn a picture.

Anyway, on one of the days I wasn’t there they found an abalone shell necklace in the unit to the East of mine. I made it to 40 cmbs on the last day, after pedestalling, drawing and pulling tons of rock from that 1×2.  No amazing finds–just some little bits of obsidian, a green chert core, and cut cow bone.  The project continues, but I had to quit because the logistics of getting down to the site without a ride was just too much and I really need to work on a few things before heading to Turkey.  I also feel like I learned pretty much all that I could learn from the site–a few new techniques, a taste of California methodology (I seriously can’t believe that they weren’t using tripod screens), and working in a culture-contact setting where sorting historic and prehistoric components by site number became utterly impossible.  I’m curious to see what else they find there, and they seemed eager to have me work for them again, this time on a coming neophyte cemetery.  We’ll see what the Fall brings.

On Sunday I made a whole bunch of gingerbread pancakes for my friends and colleagues, which was fun.  I’ll have to host more hangover breakfasts in the future.

But for now, I’m focused on finishing up the summer class that I’m helping teach, then getting to Turkey.

Author: colleenmorgan

Dr. Colleen Morgan (ORCID 0000-0001-6907-5535) is the Lecturer in Digital Archaeology and Heritage in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. She conducts research on digital media and archaeology, with a special focus on embodiment, avatars, genetics and bioarchaeology. She is interested in building archaeological narratives with emerging technology, including photography, video, mobile and locative devices. Through archaeological making she explores past lifeways and our current understanding of heritage, especially regarding issues of authority, authenticity, and identity.

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