Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Orienteering and Pacing

An important part of conducting an archaeological survey involves knowing where you are going (orienteering) and maintaining a proper distance between shovel tests. We are using standardized intervals of 25 and 50 meters between shovel tests, with tests spaced along parallel transects also evenly spaced. Professional archaeologists may use hand-held GPS units to locate predetermined shovel test locations, but before you can run you must learn to crawl. Therefore, one of the first exercises the students performed was learning how many steps they take along a 25 meter path, as well as seeing how that number changes when moving through thick vegetation or along sloping terrain, all while carrying shovels, screens, and other survey equipment!

A few orienteering basics, including back-sighting.

Getting the pacing down-pat on level terrain.

Practicing pacing along a slope.

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