There’s Something About George: Bridget Polk’s Week 3

by Bridget Polk, VCU student

Washington’s home of Mount Vernon. We toured the archaeology lab and got to enjoy the current excavation site. The differences between Ferry Farm and Mount Vernon are different as they dig in bigger units. But the bigger hole didn’t seem like it would be any easier than our 5-foot by 5-foot units. The trip continued with a tour of the house.  The architecture was great, but the view was even better! It was so peaceful even when there were so many people around.

The view from Mount Vernon and what a beautiful day it was!

The view from Mount Vernon and what a beautiful day it was!

Tuesday, Aaron and I got to experience work in the lab. Cleaning artifacts isn’t always fun but I enjoy it still. I think it’s important to help move the collections along in the process of documentation so that it isn’t just sitting somewhere being forgotten about. It’s important to get that information out for research purposes.

The next day brought rain in the morning, keeping us from our work. However, we learned how to conduct paperwork to summarize sites. After lunch, Aaron and I dug down into the subsoil of our unit to make sure it was subsoil! After finally coming up with pure clay, we, with the help of our T.A., Ashley, and site director, Laura Galke, were able to say that we did in fact reach subsoil and thus could close out our first unit.

The paperwork that we were taught to fill out, it’s a lot easier than it looks!

The paperwork that we were taught to fill out, it’s a lot easier than it looks!

Our new unit was actually the next square over. We knew what we were getting into as far as how the tree roots and type of soil changes we would be looking for based on our experience with the previous unit. I’m hoping to dig the unit down to the subsoil again by the end of the week but maybe that’s a little too ambitious. It’s okay if we take our time. George is waiting, after all.

The portrait of George Washington in the museum at Mount Vernon.

The portrait of George Washington in the museum at Mount Vernon.

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