The Singer-Moye Archaeological Settlement History (SMASH) field season for 2017 began Monday, June 2. We have a great group of students from the University of Georgia, one high school junior, and two graduate students from the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan working with us.
Our goal this season is to investigate a possible Mississippian structure encountered in the field in 2016. Last year’s excavations revealed a hearth feature and a line of post molds. Read see Adam Coker’s post summarizing this work here.
Our first week in the field was a wet one. Heavy rain kept us back at the field house on Tuesday morning, where students organized field equipment and learned how to take measurements using line levels. In the afternoon, we got out for a tour of the site before the rain chased us away again. That evening, some very heavy thunderstorms rolled through Lumpkin, which made for a very soggy Wednesday morning. While the road to the site dried out enough for us to get out there, students sketched the site plan and the local grid where we will be excavating this summer into their notebooks. By mid-morning we were able to get out to the site and begin setting up excavation units. Students used the total station to find the corners of 2×2 meter units which will form our block excavation this summer.
Around lunch, heavy rain chased us out of the site once again, though not until everyone had been thoroughly soaked to the skin. A field school rite of passage! That afternoon, Stefan Brannan gave students a lesson in ceramic analysis.
Thursday dawned bright and finally dry, so we were able to get in a full day of work at the site. We finished stringing units and started excavating! Students used flat shovels to remove the first strata of organic material from two 2×2 meter units placed adjacent to the 2016 excavation units. Our hope is to open up a block that encompasses the north side of this potential structure. On Friday they continued this work, excavating levels within the plowzone. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the field season as our work continues.
Posted by Jennifer Birch