Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Catching up #3. Our dig has begun

Finally I get to the point that our own archeological dig has begun.  I know I know I have you on your seats waiting.  If you have not read post #1 and #2 then be sure to scroll past this and get caught up with the process. 

We have about six acres, live in a log kit home that is about thirty-five years olds.  It is not one of those fancy log houses. I tend to chuckle that I live in a cabin so dusty floors are only natural.  There is a space to the south of me that is large open space and I call it the pasture.  There was a fence before we moved here as well and the prior owners had horses.  Long ago I met a man in a nursing home who was telling me about his hog farm when he was a younger man.  He did not know where I lived and we came to understand that this space was part of his holding.  Much of the surrounding area has been river edge fishing cabins and in the roaring times there was a honky-tonk down here that was only accessible via the Kaskaskia River.  I thought we would find a something of interest but had no idea just how quickly we would hit pay dirt.

We did not use some scientific method to choose our area to dig. It was merely determined by the geographical location of the property.  I knew we could not dig in the back half or we would be bothered by the donkeys the entire time.  If I wanted the blessing of my husband it would require not being part of his yard that he enjoys.  I picked a spot to the far south of the front pasture and away from groves of trees so I did not hit tons of roots.  I chose a spot that is near a peach tree that struggled and finally died.
I went to great lengths to let the children know that it would be weeks before we find something, if we ever did.  Then, suddenly, only a few moments into the process we hit a rock.  Not some small rock but we were pulling up rocks quickly that were small and white.  They reminded me of landscaping rocks. Not sure why but the large rock was gently cleared away.  We kept going as they got all excited and below that rock was another rock. Wait!  It is not a rock. It is a stone and they belong together. The area next to the stone will not dig away. We head to the left of the first stone instead of the one that it was stacked upon and decide that there is another stone there and the dirt that will not dig between them is not dirt but some form of mortar.  We brush away the dirt from the bottom stone and see that is has been manipulated to have a grove of some sort. 

You see in this photo the stones as we begin to uncover them.


As if that was not exciting enough we also found treasures within the dirt.  At Cahokia Mounds the girls learned to look at the dirt. Observe for color changes that might indicate something other than dirt had been there.  The watched for color changes in the soil. 

While we did find one really cool thing to be revealed tomorrow when I can get the photo uploaded that is a cool archeological find we also found a colony of some sort.  There were various stages in the larvae stage.  We then found an adult beetle.  "COOL!"  Better than that. As they tore into the dirt that they dug up gently they also found it in a pupae stage.  This photo is from that find as well.  This dig is not just about finding the history of our soil but we explored the layers of soil and live we found within it.  Science along with history makes homeschooling extra spectacular. 

Here is the photo of our insect stages.

 The best part of this day was that we shared it with some new, old friends.  A new homeschooler was six days into the process. She was a girl in my Girl Scout Troop as a child and now has three of her own children.  I met her kiddos and they all played together and got to know each other.  We will continue this dig as the months go on. 

I never did get to the Bird Man Tablet today. Guess it will wait for our great find within the clay on the next entry.-