Friday, May 22, 2009


Fieldwork today; a site visit to determine a) if, b) where, and c) how many holes to dig. The answer today is yes, most of it, and I'll need a calculator, but a lot. It was a very nice day to be out and about. The theme today was dead things, though I did not snap pictures of the half-bunny on the side of the road, nor of the rather large skull perched on a stump further up the same road. I do wish I'd caught the second. There were also pretty flowers and dirt involved. Here are some quick pics.


Bavardess said...

Nice photos. What did the little skull belong to? I suppose in your job you must get really good at identifying animal bones. There's a central city site near my work where developers discovered the remains of a Maori pa (settlement). The archaeologists are now excavating. It's cool being able to go for a walk at lunchtime and see what they've been turning up.

Digger said...

The excavation at the Maori pa sounds very interesting. I know very, very little (nothing) about Maori sites. Do you know when it dates from?

I'm not terribly good at identifying animal bones. "Not human" is as far as I get with critters (well, that and "big", "small", "bird?" and I can pick out turtle).

The skull is about cat-sized, but when I compared it to a cat skull here:

it didn't look the same to me.

So, something cat-sized, but not a cat.

Bavardess said...

The pa dates from the 1840s. The local tribe and the city council negotiated with the developers to change their building design to incorporate the site and make it accessible to the public (viewable through glass). More here if you're interested -

Digger said...

Thanks for the link! I love that the pa was both avoided by development and made accessible to the public for viewing. Sounds like there was a lot of discussion between the Maori, the developers, the City, etc.

If you suggested there was a Native American habitation in these parts from the 1840s, it'd be met with much eye rolling and shrieks of "IMPOSTERS!" and "LIES!" and other derisions. There is some strange deep-seated need for people to believe that all the Indians from here just -left-, to a man, woman, and child. If you don't think archaeology's political, just suggest that they may still be around ;)

Finally, re: your link... I continue to be amazed by what remains under our city streets. Example: The African Burial Ground, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, found under a building in the heart of New York City.