Lab Day #3

Today was our third day in the lab, which was a nice break from the sun and heat. The morning started off with an overview of dating methods that are used to determine a site date and accurate timeline. We were introduced to dendrochronology which is used to analyze tree-ring growth, archaeomagnetic and radiocarbon dating. After our dating methods overview we were given the chance to go out and remove core samples from trees with an increment borer here on campus. We were able to remove three different core samples which gave us a great look how these samples are retrieved in the field.

The second half of the morning consisted of us doing flotation samples. These are samples of sediment that contain organic and inorganic materials. Through the process of a flotation sample these small materials are removed from the sediment. There are two samples pulled from the process, a light fraction and heavy fraction. The light fraction consists of plant remains, and the heavy fraction is mostly small rocks and possible flakes.

After lunch we were reunited with our clay from week one and introduced to Paul Ermigiotti. Paul is an educator at Crow Canyon who also creates beautiful replicas of prehistoric pottery. He demonstrated his techniques and methods with us then set us off on our own. It seemed effortless, unfortunately for some of us that wasn’t our experience. We were told to speak with the clay and listen to it, I don’t think mine was much of a talker. There were definitely some talented people in the group as seed jars, bowls and mugs began to emerge. Paul offered assistance as needed to those who may have needed a little help refining their creation. Before we knew it, the time to clean up had arrived and we had to settle for the way our pottery turned out. We will see our creations soon, if they survive the kiln.


June 9
Dara and Emily taking a core
Coring a tree
Flotation in the lab
Processing the heavy fraction
Working with clay to build vessels.

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