Our family tends to be quiet and methodical. None of our family is quite like JV. He is the kid whose room is clean. He is the micro-pencil, micro-drawing, micro-Pythagorean board child. I didn’t realize how JV’s tendencies toward hyper-focus would be of overwhelming benefit this past week. The world could be swirling around him – archaeologist disagreeing on the importance of items or how the next layers should be dug; college kids joking around; or the snacks luring the hungry – but JV was in his element.
We first had to measure the hypotenuse a triangle with two meter legs. 2.83 meters if you don’t want to do the math. From there we needed to make four one meter quadrants and level them to their lowest point in five centimeter pieces. (For example if my highest point from my reference post was 15cm and my lowest point measuring down was 35cm, I would need to begin with the 15cm section and lower it to 20 and continue broadening my area that was excavated in 5cm sections until the entire hole was even at 35cm. This would be Level 1 (a,b,c, and d) respectively.)
Not only that. The information is noted on bags which hold the found objects from each Level and quadrant. Each shovel of dirt must be place onto a screen and sifted. It is A LOT of dirt. By the end of the week the dirt accumulation is massive and must be kept close to the hole so it can be put back in after the hole goes sterile (meaning no artifacts are being found) or the two weeks run out. However, one must be supremely careful because you can’t just shovel as fast as you can. Remember the 5cm Level depth? You don’t want to dig too deeply. Also extreme care must be maintained that any artifacts are not just scooped out but are able to observed in the place they are found. This is called “piece plotting.”
See how beautiful this floor looks around the pieces of pottery. Here is why.
Now you can see why JV is the perfect guy for the job.