Where in the hell am I?

Stories from the road, and home, by a contract archaeologist.

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Location: Texas, United States

I work out of town a lot as a contract archaeologist. Sometimes it's interesting. It can be quite funny, although probably only to other archys. Home is Austin, with my wife and our cute kitty and all of our crazy friends.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Why I am so tired.

This week, I've been waking up around 5:45 to do a burn lane survey at Bastrop State Park. Basically, there's a 10-foot wide corridor along most of the property lines that is going to be impacted. I don't know if they're going to do a controlled burn as a firebreak, or maybe berm up some dirt, I just know they're calling it a burn lane survey. I also know that some of the area we walked through today had already been subjected to a controlled burn, and that we found a couple of sites in this area. This was a plus because all of the snaggy, thorny underbrush was gone. However, the burning messed up the upper 20 centimeters of the site and made all of the thermally fractured rock fragments we found suspect.
This job is a challenge because Texas State Parks are underfunded. So we're driving to and from the project area every day, which is 90+ minutes round-trip. We leave early to beat the rush hour traffic (both ways). We're trying to haul ass because it's a really tight budget, but we keep finding sites. This is, of course, the point of the job. However, most of these sites have been sparse artifact recovery over large areas at some depth. Even in nice sand, it takes a while to dig and screen a 30cm diameter hole that's a meter deep.
So I've been waking up early to walk a lot, then dig and screen really deep holes. Finding a dart point (albeit a rather ugly Kent point, which is so ugly there are no photos of it online) was a nice reward today, as it was the first projectile point I've ever found in a shovel test.

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