Lab 5: Frederick’s Site Background (READ THIS!)
Now that you have some understanding of archaeological excavation, field techniques, and artifact analysis, you will be conducting a simulated excavation.
In this exercise you will conduct virtual excavations at the Fredricks site, an archaeological site in North Carolina that dates between roughly AD/CE 1675 and 1710, and then you will make some interpretations based on your finds. The site was excavated (for real) by UNC archaeologists in the 1980s and 1990s. The team very carefully collected information, so that now it can be excavated on the web through the electronic dig available online from UNC. In order to have a productive lab experience, it is essential that you log onto the website early and learn to navigate the site and read some background information.
DO NOT WAIT UNTIL SUNDAY to conduct this lab, you won’t have time to finish it. It is designed to take up both lecture and lab time for this week, so don’t delay in getting started.
Procedure and Assessment
All good archaeologists need to conduct background work before going into the field to dig. That’s where you’ll begin your simulated excavation.
Go to the UNC excavation home page (Links to an external site.) (http://www.ibiblio.org/dig/html/index.html) (Links to an external site.) and click the “BACKGROUND” link. Read the following sections, each is one page long:
Read the foreword (Links to an external site.) on the introduction page by the Occaneechi tribal historian: (http://www.ibiblio.org/dig/html/part0/tab1.html) (Links to an external site.)
Read the archaeology portion of the site’s Historical Background (Just the Archaeology Tab (Links to an external site.), not 1527-1725 or 1725- present tabs) https://rla.unc.edu/dig/html/part2/tab0.html
Read the Siouan Archaeology (Links to an external site.) (focus on the major research questions posed here) https://rla.unc.edu/dig/html/part2/tab0.html
Read the Fredricks Site Discovery Page (Links to an external site.) https://rla.unc.edu/dig/html/part2/tab0.html
Read the Fredricks Site Excavation Page (Links to an external site.) https://rla.unc.edu/dig/html/part2/tab0.html
Once you have completed that, you will complete a short quiz to make sure you have done the reading assigned above. Read each question carefully and answer as thoroughly as possible. You are welcome to use the pages above as a tool to help you answer as you go through this first part. Be sure to complete this part of the lab by Midnight on Wednesday.
Once you have completed your background work, you will receive explicit instructions to conduct the excavation.
Lab 5: Simulated Excavation Procedures 1
Now that you have completed your background research, you’ve just learned that you have been awarded a grant of $20,000.00 to lead a project! Let’s go to the field.
You are an archaeologist who is going to lead a project of excavation at the Fredrick’s site. You have already conducted an intensive survey and surface collection, and based on the results you have developed a site grid in an area that contained a lot of surface materials (see map here (Links to an external site.)).
You have received a grant for $20,000.00 dollars, which should be enough to excavate about 10 of the 10 ft x 10 ft squares on your site grid, as well as, additional squares that contain features you find.
Surface collection data show that European artifacts and Native American pottery was concentrated in the northern portion of the grid, with lesser amounts in the southern portion. Armed with this knowledge, develop an excavation plan. Use random units, trenches, horizontal blocks or a mixture of all three in your plan. Then use the simulator to carry out your excavations and record what you find.
Note: If you somehow amazingly figure out a way to excavate where you will find nothing in 4 or more squares, it will have a negative impact on your grade.
Procedure: Understanding the Simulated Dig Process
Go to http://www.ibiblio.org/dig/html/index.html (Links to an external site.), and click the “ARCHAEOLOGY PRIMER (Links to an external site.)” link.
Scroll through and read each page (they are only a paragraph each).
Make sure you understand the site grid and the ways that particular squares are designated, as summarized on pages 4 and 5.
Also make sure you view some of the artifacts and features that are listed to get a sense of what was found at the site.
Then read the Electronic Dig Tutorial (Links to an external site.) https://electronicdig.sites.oasis.unc.edu/views/tutorial1.html
Once you have gone through the tutorial, continue to the next page to read your excavation instructions and complete your assignment.
Lab 5: Simulated Excavation Procedures 2
You have gathered your funding of $20,000 and now you are ready to assemble your team and begin excavations. Follow these instructions carefully.
Procedures for Excavation
1) From the home page (Links to an external site.), click on the “ELECTRONIC DIG (Links to an external site.)” button. This will bring up the simulated excavation program. https://rla.unc.edu/dig/html/index.html https://electronicdig.sites.oasis.unc.edu/index.html#
2) In the center of the page, there is a green square you can use to “Set your Budget.” Slide that green square to the position where your budget reads 20000. This simulates your budget of $20,000.00
3) Select the “Start Dig (Links to an external site.)” tab and develop a plan for excavation. Remember, you can trench, randomly sample, or selectively sample. Once you have decided where you want to excavate, you can select individual excavation squares by clicking on them with the mouse. Select 10 squares you want to excavate. https://electronicdig.sites.oasis.unc.edu/dig.html
After you are satisfied with your selection, press the “Excavate” button. You will see that the selected squares are no longer green, but have now been excavated to expose the features that were underneath the surface.
If you choose to excavate random test pits, select the “Random” tab. You will then be prompted to input the number of test units you would like to excavate. Then, the program will randomly select 10 grid squares and excavate them.
4) Remember you can excavate in stages, i.e. you can excavate a few test pits, click on the “Excavate” button, see what’s there, and revise your excavation plan based on what you find. You can even excavate one square at a time, but keep track of which squares you excavate and in what order.
5) Each time you click on the “Excavate” button, you can check out your excavation data by clicking on the individual excavated squares. This will take you to a new page, where you will see a close up map of the excavation square. This will show any features that were found in the square, but they will be darkened as they have not yet been excavated.
6) While still on the excavation square page, you will see a list of artifacts below the “Artifacts in Context” that were found in the various layers of that grid square. Peruse the list of materials recovered from the plowzone of the square. When you are finished, return to the excavation plan by clicking on the “Map” tab on the top of the page.
7) Continue excavations until you have excavated 10 grid squares. Record the proveniences of the units that you excavate and make a general description of the materials found in the Plow Zone layer. Mark all of the units you excavate in the figure provided on the next page.
8) Then, look over the features you have found in your grid squares and use the remaining funds to excavate as many as possible. Rather than recording the artifact counts, look at the maps and read the description of the feature. Record this general information.
9) To see the overall excavation grid and to retrieve your artifact counts for the grid squares you excavated, go to site map page (Links to an external site.). Then click on the “Squares (blue)” link. Then click on the artifacts link and this will provide you with the counts of artifacts found in that square. Type these numbers into your spread sheet. https://rla.unc.edu/dig/html/maps/exc1.html
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you miraculously excavate only squares with nothing in them, your grade will reflect this sampling choice.
Lab 5 Marking the Grid Rubric
Excavations Rubric 1 (1)
10 pts Full Marks Correctly mark the grip map with the units that you excavated
All grid squares are correctly marked on the map
5 pts Half marks A majority of grid squares are correctly marked on the map
10 pts Total Points: 10
Lab 5: Explaining Your Excavation Procedures Rubric
Give a detailed description of how you chose your first 10 excavation squares, then describe why you chose any remaining squares
20 pts Full Marks Thoroughly describes excavation
10 pts Half Marks Partially describes excavation
20 pts Total Points: 20
Lab 5: Artifact Counts from Excavation Squares
This is example how to do it on excel.
Excavations: Table of Artifacts
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeMake a table of artifact counts
You will make a table of all artifact counts from the plow zone layer of the grid squares you excavated
20 pts Full Marks Successfully completes table
10 pts Half credit Partially completes table
20 pts Total Points: 20
Lab 5: Feature Descriptions
Some Rubric (5)
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeFeature Description
All features excavated get 1 paragraph description and discussion of artifacts found
25 pts Full Marks Students provide adequate descriptions of all features excavated
10 pts Partial Credit Students complete some but not all descriptions of features
25 pts Total Points: 25
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