Anth 586 Folsom Wedge #4 and Clovis Block #4493 Excavation
Anth 586 – Advanced Geoarchaeology is a graduate course in which the students will solve a specific geoarchaeological problem through collecting, analyzing, and presenting their own data. They are learning both field and laboratory techniques, including sediment sampling, profile description, particle morphology description, particle size analysis, weight loss on ignition, and sediment pH analysis.
A large block of sediment recovered from the Folsom level at the Blackwater Draw site (pictured below) provides a unique opportunity to apply these analytical skills. The block was jacketed with plaster and salvaged from a collapsing exposure at the site in the 1960’s. Its specific provenience is unknown, and little is known of its contents other than that is reputed to have contained bison bone and to have yielded a single Folsom projectile point. Over the course of this semester we will excavate this sediment block, collecting and analyzing sediment samples in order to (1) determine the area of the site from which it originated and (2) describe the stratigraphic, sedimentary, and archaeological record it contains.
In addition, we will be excavating a smaller jacketed block of Clovis sediment collected from the North Bank around the same time. This block (pictured below) contained a quartzite unifacial tool fragment (also below) associated with a mammoth rib fragment.
The primary page will be updated periodically to share our progress and the results of our excavation and analysis.