Monday, July 25, 2011

Student Bios

Here are the last of our students!

Thomas Jeffers

I have been living in Zephyrhills Florida for the last 10 years or so, but I am originally from the Chicago area. I am a transfer student from Pasco Hernando Community College where I received my Associates Degree. I guess you can say I am a nontraditional student as I am 42 years old and coming back to school after almost 22 years to finish my undergraduate degree. This was my first year at UWF. I am an archaeology major, but I am also getting a minor in geography and going for the undergraduate GIS certificate.  I have had an interest in archaeology since I took part in a summer program at Kampsville Illinois when I was in high school.

Stacey Marshall

I am currently a senior majoring in Maritime Archeology. I enjoy field school because it gives me an opportunity to get a hands-on learning experience that can’t be found in a book. I hope to develop potential thesis topics for my future graduate studies and obtain a job with the skills I learn here.

Ryan Thompson

I chose archaeology as a career to pursue because I wanted to learn more about prehistory. I intend to finish field school, get my bachelors degree in 2012, hike the Appalachian Trail in 2013, then come back to school for my masters. My end goal is to work in archaeology long enough to buy property in North Carolina, near Ashville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and build a self-sustaining cabin with my own two hands.

Artifacts Part 2

As we finish up our last days of the UWF Campus Survey excavations, we wanted to share with you some of the artifacts that we’ve found during this half of our field school.
Below an area of relocated shell midden we uncovered a large fragment of a grinding/nutting stone. One face of this large rock had a very shallow, circular stain – evidence of its use as an anvil for cracking nuts. The reverse side showed evidence of wear suggesting it was a metate-like surface for grinding nuts or seeds into meal.


At this angle you can see more of its curved face.

Further evidence of Native American dietary habits was revealed when bone fragments were found scattered throughout the shell midden and from some of the features. While most of the pieces were so small they were virtually impossible to identify in the field, we were able to easily identify a large portion of a deer jaw and tibia that were found within the midden. Fish and turtle elements were also found in and amongst the freshwater clam shells.

Deer Mandible found in Shell Midden

We found a fragment of a point made of Tallahatta Sandstone. Two Coastal Plain chert points were also recovered during the second half of the field school.

Tallahata Sandstone Point

Steph with one of the chert points she found

One of our main goals for this field season was to determine who exactly was living here and during what time period(s) the site was occupied. The best way to figure out the answers to these questions in prehistoric sites is to look at the ceramics recovered. This season we have recovered a considerable quantity of ceramics that can give us insight into these questions. However, it is often difficult to assign such labels in the field. For instance, we have found several pieces of check-stamped sherds that can fall under three categories that all closely resemble each other. They could either be Wakulla Check Stamped (which ranges from the Late Woodland to the Fort Walton period), Deptford Check Stamped (found within the Middle Woodland period), or Gulf Check Stamped (which ranges from the Middle Woodland to the Santa Rosa-Swift Creek period). At this point we suspect they are primarily Gulf Check Stamped, but only further lab analysis will tell for sure.

An example of the Check Stamped ceramics we are finding.

Fiber-tempered Norwood

Sandwiching these Woodland series are fiber-tempered Norwood series sherds dating to the Late Archaic period and a few shell-tempered late prehistoric sherds found during the first half of the field season. Laboratory analysis will commence in the Fall semester and will help us narrow down the specific cultural expressions found at Thompson’s Landing.