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The hardest day of the season

July 7, 2015

Today – the first day with a full crew, whence Leonie & Emily had arrived in the afternoon – was a whole day of shifting dirt. Boring old dirt with no context or meaning, and no function other than protecting the site during its winter rest (which of course must be the highest purpose any contextless dirt can have).


It’s not the most fun you can have with archaeology, but our brave crew kept their spirits up even though the rain, as the day progressed so did the spoil  heap, and more and more of the tarps covering the site slowly emerged from the dirt. The Q-corp boys were back to help us out in the morning, but when they’d left after lunch uncovering the site started to look like a Sisyphus task. However, shame on him who gives in – we were soon back on track and by tea break it was pretty clear we would have it all done by the end of  the day (except for the frozen corners that had to be left to thaw). All hard work pays off in the end.


The reward came when we started removing the tarps – suddenly the site was back in all its glory! Maybe slightly more compressed, and a little squished in places, but on the whole looking pretty much as we remember it from last year. Great work crew!


IMG_4629Progress was made on other aspects of the site as well – the outhouse, who also have been taking a restIMG_9273 over winter, was, with the help of a lot of manpower, risen on its feet, and can now do its job properly. News concerning coolers are less encouraging. Despite the fact that Rick spent a large part of the day in the phone to DHL they cannot tell us when – or even if – they will release our coolers. For the excavation – we manage to cover everything for now – we have enough old records to make do at least this week, a substitute site camera has been called into duty, and we walk around in borrowed clothes (Véro’s wearing Teresas socks, Paul is wearing Carly’s waterproofs & Charlotta is wearing Edouard’s waterproof trousers) – albeit slightly stinky (we have all run out of t-shirts). But Paul & Véro’s sampling cannot be done without the equipment, and a large part of the research will be delayed because of this. It is safe to say we are anxious to get those coolers here asap! Fingers x’d it will happen sooner rather than later.

However, we always have Cheryl’s lovely food – made out of fresh produce from Bethel – to cheer us up when we get back from the field. And with a full belly nothing looks to bad… not even a smelly t-shirt and a missing microscope after the hardest field day of the season.



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