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De-sodding the re-sodded

August 1, 2013

Sod off!siteOfficially our first day of excavation is tomorrow – but on this, our bonus day, we got an impressive amount of work done. We started out with a small team of five (Rick, Charlotta, Edouard, Ella & Lindsey) in the morning – in beautiful but buggy weather – and already at lunch time we had created a notable sod mound. The mission of the day was to remove the old back fill – Edouard in his Ascot hatLindsey & Ellasod and all – that we spent so much effort on putting back at the end of the last season, as much as we could master. De-sodding re-sodded sod is no doubt easier than cutting sod from the start, but there is a sense of errant destiny in digging away the dirt you so meticulously put down there once upon a time… Adding to the pain we were in bug hell (or bug heaven if you’re a bug). Yes - it's dead bugsThe queen of the damned...bugsNeedless to say the bug spray we found lying in the tent did nothing to help the situation, but fortunately Edouard had brought some powerful (and natural) magic bug dope from the UK – amazed we watched the midges land – and meet their death – on Charlotta’s bare arms. (We are now trying to figure out a way to import large quantities of the miraculous formula to The States.) After lunch reinforces arrived – in the form of 2012-veterans Ellen, Jessie and Carly who had flown in this morning, intern the armya siteKent, and a small army of kids volunteering from the village, and suddenly the dirt was flying out of the trenches. With such valuable help the site quickly took the shape of a proper archaeological dig (and the spoil heap the shape of a proper spoil heap). The only discouraging fact was the unwelcome discovery of ice on top of the tarp in the deepest part of the reopened trench.And the "dirtiest face of the day award" goes to.. Edhouard! The permafrost is thus still there waiting for us – pretty much where we left it last year…  On the good note though, this is the day before the first day of the excavation, instead of one of the last ones – so it will have plenty of time to melt. Especially if the warm weather we’ve been blessed with so far stays :). After a full day’s work the site was looking pretty good, and the workers were looking pretty tired. We went back to camp to find ourselves in front of a dinner table loaded with the fantastic home cooked food Cheryl spoils us with. Just the kind of energy boost hard working archaeologists need to tackle a first day 😉 of digging tomorrow.

The site at the end of the day

The site at the end of the day


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