Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Plan... Plan... and Plan some more!

Today wasn't as warm as the last few days have been. It started off cool with a cloud cover and continued all day cloudy but with a warm feel to it. Well, I thought I got out of it but I guess I was wrong. Today, our group continued with the planning for our unit. That is the 2 dimensional representation of what is now on the surface. Fin asked that we plan at least 3-4 1 meter x 1 meter areas in our cutting with one of us using the planning grid (a board that has strings making up a grid with each square 20 cm x 20 cm) and the other training our eye to determine sizes of stones and placement within the 1m sq area. So I tried one with the planning grid and one without. I found that without the planning grid I work better. I can see how the planning grid will work when the surface you are mapping might have more artifacts and less stone, but when they are stones, and just mish mashed fallen stones as ours are, it's okay to do it by eye. When we had this completed we were to take levels. Now, from my other field school, this is usually taking elevations and we usually use the line level, a string and a tape measure but over here, we get to use the dumpy (the survey machine). This made elevations/levels so much quicker! The rest of the afternoon was pretty much filled with working on a 1 meter section of the cutting on the south side trying to remove the mortar layer or Feature 4 as it has been designated. Friday, Jean Marco says we will actually be able to move a lot quicker as it appears the stones below are not in situ but are fallen debris.

I am happy to say I think my archaeological skills are progressing well. I feel more confident in some of the tasks that I had previously done and have also gained new skills. My sketching skills still leave a lot to be desired as I learned when I attempted to sketch the concave surface in the wall. I think I'll need to take some sketching classes :). I am sad that Friday will be my last day on the Black Friary site for a while but I intend to come back and be a part of this dig as I feel a connection having been part of the first group to reveal stones that have been covered for decades and possibly centuries. But tomorrow we are off to Newgrange and I am very excited for that! It doesn't sound like a whole day kinda thing so hopefully I might get to do some souvenir shopping as I haven't gotten a chance to do that. Tonight we are going to the pub in Trim for live Traditional Irish music. This does not start until 10 p.m.! So I might be tired tomorrow but I figure I better go as I'm only here two more days.

Miss you all! xoxo

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