January 8, 2016

Things wot happen in the field stay in the field

Filed under: Field photos — acagle @ 5:31 pm

Until some idiot posts them on the Internet.

Desert Fox

August 18, 2015

A farewell post

Filed under: Blogging update, Field photos — acagle @ 7:41 pm

Gonna be gone to my Stammland (Wisconsin) for a couple of weeks. Been crazy busy the last few days trying to get that straightened out and also get some fieldwork done. I’m putting a couple of photos here of that, although I can’t show too much (private property and such, donchaknow). But as a bit of background, I was over at Leavenworth (not the prison; they haven’t found my stash of Victorian child pron quite yet) on Sunday and Monday to do a small survey next to Icicle Creek. Eastern Washington has been very dry this year and has had lots of wildfires. Here is Leavenworth when I got in Sunday evening:

Desert Fox

June 6, 2014

Back from a long week

Filed under: Blogging update, Field photos — acagle @ 7:40 pm

Five straight days of fieldwork done. On three different projects! One starting at 4:30 Sunday morning. One 3-day affair on a lovely island. And one on another island that was kind of piddling. But, back. All went pretty well. Had one irate land owner tell us we were trespassing (we weren’t) and called the sheriff on us (he knew he’d probably get called), but they worked it out and we went back out a couple days later and finished. Can’t say much about it mainly because it was kind of boring. We found one isolate, a biface. Will get back to posting Saturday. Here’s some scenery candy in the meantime:

Desert Fox

April 20, 2014

Field photos

Filed under: Field photos — acagle @ 7:05 pm

Just a few photos from a job I went out on last week. Nothing interesting found. It was a culvert replacement for a stream going under a road.

Desert Fox
That’s looking down from the road at the ravine with the creek in the bottom. The ravine would have been continuing where the road is now, but they just filled it in with fill and rubble and put the road on top of it, with the culvert and creek running underneath.

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That’s the creek, obviously. Nice little thing. Typical junk on the sides, beer cans, bottles, etc. Also:

Desert Fox
An old electrical transformer. There was a larger concrete platform above it which we thought probably held a power pole at one time.

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Just sort of a beauty shot. Those big plants are western skunk cabbage.

March 17, 2014

Meet the new vehicle, (not the) same as the old vehicle

Filed under: Car Lust, Field photos — acagle @ 4:02 pm

Desert Fox

Well, there you have it, the new ArchaeoVehicle. This is actually kind of a momentous occasion since the last time I purchased a new vehicle Bush was president.

George H.W. Bush, that is.

So it’s been a while coming. This is something of a compromise as it needed to please both me and the ArchaeoWife. I may or may not be doing fieldwork the rest of my life so we needed something that she could drive daily as well, so that ruled out an older pickup truck. So we went (almost) new: it’s a 2014 Forester. It was a loaner vehicle from a dealer so it’s got like 6k miles already and part of the depreciation is already gone so we didn’t have to pay for that.

GAWD, what a change. From a 1978 Mustang II to this. I’m going to do a Car Lust post on it soon, but one thing I’ll take a photo of in each is the dashboard. I swear, this new one looks like a jet cockpit compared to the old one. I’m going to try to count the functions in each one to see how they compare (probably like 58-6).

I’m a tad bit sad that the Mustang won’t be my daily driver anymore. But as much as I like driving it around it can be a PITA. It leaks a bit when it rains, it’s noisy, very small inside, and really kind of difficult to get in and out of. So the plan is to keep it garaged and clean and only take it out a few times a year to shows and such. My biggest fear is that after not driving it much I’ll start to lose interest in it.

February 28, 2014

It’s almost like Lascaux. . . .

Filed under: Field photos — acagle @ 7:41 pm

Found these on a survey today:
Desert Fox

Desert Fox


February 17, 2014


Filed under: Field photos, Humor — acagle @ 8:15 am

Forensic Scientists Create The Face Of Crystal Skull Vodka

November 29, 2013

Notes from the field

Filed under: Field photos — acagle @ 9:42 am

I did a quick 1-day survey last week on some land that was to be logged. It’s on a bench above a major river so the probability of finding anything is fairly good. The location was good for this sort of thing: Not too far away, not overly remote but enough for it to be semi-wilderness. . .meaning not a long drive and quiet when we get there.

This is what it looked like coming in:
Desert Fox

Typical logging road cut through a parcel with the junk they’d cut down pushed off to the sides. That’s the part that really sucked, the few meters on either side of the road were a tangle of brush and small trees which was a PITA to get over especially carrying a screen and shovel and junk. The rest of it wasn’t so bad:

Desert Fox

This isn’t “old growth” by any means. I guessed the trees here are 30-40 years old and it had been logged at least once before this. The ferns indicate that the ground had recently (within a few decades) been disturbed. Oddly, the sediments didn’t show much sign of horizonation except in one locality. I wouldn’t think it would have been that disturbed, but it may just be the types of soil in the area.

As to when the logging occurred, well. . . .
Desert Fox

This would have been an “old growth” tree when it was logged and there are hundreds of these in this area. I took this one to show the springboard notch, a notch for a platform on either side of the tree where the loggers would stand while they sawed through it. I’m not sure of the dating on these, though I think it’s probably up to early 20th century. These were all pretty eroded so I suspect this area’s been logged at least three times, maybe more.

October 31, 2013

What I’ve been up to

Filed under: Conservation/CRM, Field photos — acagle @ 6:21 pm

Desert Fox

Sorry about the size. That is a tray full of sediment from a shell midden site. I’m doing lab work for a private archaeology firm processing samples they retrieved from a site last summer. It’s all been water screened through nested screens and sized to 1″, 1/2″, 1/4″ and 1/8″ sizes. We sort each bag o’ material into its constituent components: rocks, unidentifiable shell, diagnostic shell (that you can tell which species it is), wood, charcoal, etc. To be honest, I’m a bit dubious of the utility of doing anything besides removing diagnostic sorts of artifacts as a basic processing procedure. Someone may have some use for the weights and volumes of the various components, but those tend to be fairly specialized analyses, apart from saying the basics about what sort of deposit it was (which you can get from the field notes anyway). So, it’s kind of tedious and of limited usefulness in my view. But it’s fairly enjoyable work, I like the people there, and it’s archaeology.

Haven’t found much that’s exciting although today I think I may have found some human hair.

Many people major in archaeology thinking this is the sort of thing they’ll be doing a lot of but I think it’s fairly rare because excavation (“data recovery” as they call it) is very expensive and it’s avoided at nearly all (literal) costs.

September 23, 2013

A couple from the field

Filed under: Field photos, Historic — acagle @ 7:13 pm

Spent the morning monitoring (in the rain, natch) and it was mostly boring, but there were a couple of vaguely interesting finds:

Desert Fox
A bovid bone, a femur to be exact. The smaller piece looks to be the distal extremity and it’s been butchered with a saw. A couple more pieces turned up, the head and some other worn bit probably part of the greater trochanter.

Desert Fox
This was lying on the surface nearby, probably excavated earlier. I snapped a pic because I liked the look of it, although I might go back soon and grab it because I think it’s probably 1910s-20s, or so says this page.

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