by Dr. Bernard K. Means, VCU/Virtual Curation Laboratory
Today was the first day of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) field school at George Washington’s Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm in Fredericksburg, Virginia. We started the day with a tour of the site and its surrounding landscape, under the direction of Ashley McCuistion. Ashley is still an undergraduate at VCU, but she proved herself very adept at fieldwork at the 2012 field school, and her managerial and leadership abilities have been evident through her work at the Virtual Curation Laboratory. Thus, I am not surprised at how well she was able to introduce her fellow classmates to the wonders of fieldwork. After the tour, the field school students were introduced to field director Laura Galke and assistant field director Dr. Eric Larsen. Ashley was joined after the tour by fellow VCU student Allen Huber, who also took the 2012 field school and has been an instrumental part of the Virtual Curation Laboratory. Ashley and Allen began instructed the new VCU students in basic field procedures, and helped them lay out their first units. The students then went to Laura and Eric to obtain context numbers, and the rest of the day was spent by them excavating their first layers of the first units. The nine students were divided up to excavate four units, arranged in a checkerboard pattern.
All in all, an great start to what hopefully will be another spectacular field season. The 2013 VCU field school students all showed a positive spirit and work diligently throughout the day.