Archaeological Exploration

By Green River Preserve

The 2017 summer has been an exciting time for Archaeological exploration at Green River Preserve. This summer we have been doing a survey down at the farm, much like the survey that was excavated at Girlsville last year near Spirit Winds cabin. The campers have helped me in setting up a datum, and setting flags every 10 m on a N/S, E/W grid. Each one of the flags will have a survey hole approximately 30 cm in diameter, dug next to the flag. So far we have dug 15 shovel tests and all of them have been positive!- with depths from 40 cm to 105 cm below surface.

At the start of the Archaeology morning, the campers are told what we are looking for in the shovel tests. We talk about the Native Americans and what types of evidence they would have left behind in the soil. This evidence / artifacts can be points and tools, or flakes from flint knapping and making points, or Native American pottery, or a fire ring like we found in Girlsville.

As each shovel test is excavated the campers get the chance to screen the dirt through ¼ inch screen. All of the artifacts are collected from each individual shovel test, and the bags are given the N/E coordinates (Provenience). Later, these artifacts will be washed and catalogued. Each positive shovel test gets added as a filled in dot on the site map and the negatives will be a circle with a line through it.

With each new shovel test that we dig we are able to know more about the size and scope of the Native American site at the GRP Farm. By the end of this summer we will have a better idea of the dimensions of the site at the farm, and the densities and concentrations of these artifacts.

The campers are asking amazing questions about the artifacts, the Native Americans and the Scientific processes of Archaeology. It has been such a pleasure to work with them this summer. I am looking forward to what the rest of the summer will tell us about the peoples that used to inhabit this area.

Martha Wallace