Daily Archives: August 30, 2013

Stratigraphy and Site Formation

From Time Team America:

Fort James, South Dakota

In 1865, a unit of cavalry soldiers thought they had volunteered to fight in the Civil War. Instead, they found themselves sent west to keep the peace between incoming pioneer settlers and the Sioux Indians in what is now South Dakota. Upon their arrival, the soldiers built Fort James, one of the few stone forts on the American frontier. The fort’s quartzite walls still peek out from under a grassy field that seems to have somehow survived intact. The site has never been excavated but experts believe that the fort’s remains hold a time capsule of information about life on the early frontier. Time Team America traveled to South Dakota on a rescue mission: to find out how much of the fort survives and how big an area it covers so that the site’s archaeology can be protected for future research.

Time Team America archaeologist Julie Schablitsky explains how archaeologists read the evidence in the layers of soil. Relative dating can establish an older than/younger than chronology.

Watch Reading the Stratigraphy of the Soil on PBS. See more from Time Team America.

Burnt Mounds – Recent archaeological discoveries at Bradford Kaims, Northumberland UK

This video shows some of the remarkable features discovered as part of the Bradford Kaims Wetland Heritage Research Project. The site is located in the ancient prehistoric wetland landscape of Newham bog, near Lucker, Northumberland. This work was carried out by volunteers and students of Bamburgh Research Project, and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage. This community archaeology project is open to people of all ages and abilities and we’d like to hear from you if you want to get involved. Please go to the website at www.bamburghresearchproject.co.uk for further details in the ‘Bradford Kaims Wetland Heritage Research Project section and check out the latest updates on our blog: http://bamburghresearchproject.wordpr…

Archaeology Conservation in the Grand Canyon

The National Park Service (NPS) and the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) excavated nine archaeological sites along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon during three years of fieldwork. The NPS/MNA excavation project was the first major archaeological excavation to occur along the river corridor in Grand Canyon in nearly 40 years. The NPS has a “preservation-in-place” mandate, and excavates archaeological sites only when they cannot be stabilized and preserved in place. These sites were disappearing due to erosion; artifacts were literally washing into the river. Because these sites were being lost, the NPS initiated excavations to learn more about the people who lived here before the archaeological evidence of their lives in the canyon was completely gone.

Archaeologists excavated the sites, exposing them for a few days or weeks during which time these videos were taken. Immediately after excavation, the sites were reburied to protect them from further damage from exposure to the elements and possible damage from visitation. This video and the virtual tour (below) is now the only way to experience these places where people once lived.