The Heat is On! Bridget Polk’s Week 2

by Bridget Polk, VCU student

Week 2 has come and gone. With the temperatures beginning to rise, I start to question why dig season is in the summer. But at the end of the day, I forget all that as I take time to think about the day. Do I still want to do this? The answer is: yes! I love being able to get down into the dirt and sift around solving mysteries that some might not have been able to understand. It furthers my education and many others’ education as well.

Arriving on site Monday, I was apprehensive about the weather and hoped it would hold out for us to dig but sadly, the rains came and digging was cancelled. I would have loved to have been digging still but it was nice to have a day off as I work on the weekends and don’t really have a break lately.

The view from Montpelier.

The view from Montpelier.

Moving on to Tuesday, Our class visited the home of James Madison, Montpelier. There, we visited the grounds to learn about a fellow founding father and how archaeology was crucial for the reconstruction of the gorgeous house. We were able to visit the field school at Montpelier and see their dig site. It was great to compare the two and meet a few of the students and interns. Next, we visited their lab. It is one of the largest and most visitor friendly labs I have seen. I would like to encourage anyone who is going to Montpelier to visit the lab and take a look at what they have found. The staff is super friendly and would love to show you around.

Finally on Wednesday we got to dig again! As temperatures began to rise, my water intake increased as well. It’s important to be safe while digging out in the hot sun. My dig partner, Aaron, and I found another wig curler throughout the day as we dug our way down through the antebellum layer.

Wig curler found on the Third. Number 2!

Wig curler found on the Third. Number 2!

The Fourth of July was interesting for us to say the least. All of us chose to dig on this holiday and really tried to shine with the public. Not to mention, we found another wig curler too! It was fun watching the littler kids sifting through the soil and getting excited over what they thought was a jewel but was probably just a rock. It reminded me of when I was young and loved to learn about history. These kids might grow up to be like me when they get older and that puts a smile on my face to think that I could have excited them to pursue archaeology.

Friday came and went by pretty quickly as Aaron and I dug down to the colonial layer almost finishing up our first unit! We will be back on Wednesday to take pictures and get it all done. Monday will be our field trip to Mount Vernon and Tuesday I am in the lab! I’ll update next week!

 A beautiful piece of glass I found in the Colonial layer.

A beautiful piece of glass I found in the Colonial layer.


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