Stratigraphy! There’s four distinct layers here. A freshwater aquifer is draining into the ocean between layers three and four (where the greenery is growing). Layers two and three are similar, they are both sandstone however layer two is finer grained and contains more magnesium deposition (darker parts). The first layer is unconsolidated material.
Cliffs are wonderful for observing geology. They aren’t so wonderful to climb back up, though.
A very humbling walk down the beach at Discovery Park today.
Here, the last 50,00 years of Seattle’s geologic history are visible on the shoreline. Above, the Kitsap Formation alternates between a coarse orange sand and a fine grey silt. Repeated sequences of these layers tell the story of a lake or floodplain receiving constant influxes of sand followed by prolonged periods of low activity which allowed the finer silt to settle out.
Thousands of years stretch out before me, their stories slowly crumbling into the sea.
Here’s a pretty incredible find from the Keyes Collection in our repository! While looking through boxes of artifacts from Oneota sites for an upcoming exhibit, we came across this special little scraper. While the Lane Farm Enclosure was being excavated in 1936, archaeologists found that a root had grown around this artifact. Instead of prying the scraper from the root, they just took a section of it! It’s amazing what goes on below the surface before we unearth an object, isn’t it?
what are normal things that happen in field archaeology? and what does an archaeologist look like
Ok, normal things that happen in the field, according to my experience and to my friends’ (we haven’t had the chance to go to field school together yet, but hopefully this is the year!):
-it’s too sunny to see the stratigraphy
-it’s too cloudy to see the stratigraphy
-is this a sherd or a rock?
-”Wear the Indiana Jones hat proudly”, says the Professor
-”Clean this structure!”, says Professor; «but it’s just a bunch of roots…», thinks student; Professor stomping around excavation area; Professor is beauty and grace and eventually trips on and destroys said structure; Professor and student look at each other; “I always knew it wasn’t important,” says Professor
-you no longer fill your lungs with air, but with dust and dirt
-you no longer cry tears, but mud
-”Look, I’m digging white dirt!” exclaims rookie student; “You destroyed a bone,” says veteran student
-headquarters in the middle of nowhere, nights dark and chilly, forest all around… it is time for creepy stories
-night stroll interrupted upon seeing a pair of big round eyes shining in the dark; “IT’S A LION!!!”; night stroll becomes marathon for survival
-black spot on the wall; black spot moves; black spot is a spider; bring a bucket and a pickaxe and the big shovel and maybe we should call the Professor to help us
-call the Professor
-”Can you pass me the thing?”; “Can you hold me the thing while I measure the thing for the thing?”; “Did you see my thing?”; “Look at the thing I found!”; “Where’s the bucket for special things?”
-building new hills and valleys and mountains with all the dirt covering the Main Objective: you are the Destroyer and Creator of Worlds
-The Good Professor: “Kids, time for the mid-morning snack!” and “Kids, hide everything, it’s lunch time!”
-The Bad Professor: “You are doing it wrong.” and “Stop contaminating my archaeological site with biscuit crumbs, who told you to eat anyway???”
-”If the boars come, drop everything and climb to the trees.”
-who needs sunscreen when you have ochre?
-”Take your feet off my square!”
-metalhead girl finds first piece of bronze of that year’s campaign: let the metal-puns begin!
-Professor brings portable chair; Professor installs portable chair between two glorious oaks; Professor picks a square for himself, sits on dirt and works
-sharing the back of the jeep with material, samples, colleagues and Professor’s portable chair
-you know you’re going on an archaeological mission when the jeep is old and uncomfortable
-old and uncomfortable jeeps are the best
-overloaded jeep going up and down the mountain, brakes might not work; “We trust you with our lives, (name of the doctorate student driving the jeep). No pressure.”
-look at all these sherds!
-turns out you broke a once perfectly intact jar/dish/whatever, we’ll only know what’s this crap once we glue it back together
-”IT’S A STELE!!” yells rookie student, pointing a piece of broken marble
-”I found a pretty shell in that shell midden!”
-digging Roman ruins wearing no hard hat = YOLO
-asking the metalhead girl the secret behind walking around with safety boots when it’s 35ºC
-disconnected from the world
-waking up at 6 a.m. to the Indiana Jones theme; chicken and pork for breakfast; pick up Professor at 7 a.m.; work starts at 8 a.m.; everybody is joyful and happy and it is a beautiful day
-”A friend just called from (some other Professor’s excavation site); do you guys want to hear the gossip???”
-gossip is a sexual scandal, everybody laughs and is very happy to be in the opposite side of the country
-field stick-men drawing
-Professor fell asleep on his square
-”Do we have insurance?” asks rookie student; “What the fuck is that?” asks veteran student
An archaeologist looks like the hate child of a Special Ops and a partisan.
Time for some more beautiful Arctic stratigraphic relationships from Greenland’s coast! This time, the photographs are taken not by MacMillan but by crew members on expeditions in 1926 and 1947. Absolutely stunning!