First Day in the Field

Before today my only archeological experience was overshadowed by a preoccupation with Harrison Ford’s chest hairs.

After today my only archeological experience is overshadowed by struggle bafflement and weak wrists.

There seemed to exist an entire esoteric ritual of “levels” “mapping” “plumb bombs” and other such processes that serve some sacred purpose such as preventing us from simply jumping in with shovels and searching as our wills and fancy dictate.  I realized that the latter meandering methodology is my usual modus operandi and am now forced to confront the harsh realities of actual research.

I also realized just how strange of a practice archeology is only because it is this whole other approach to reality that appears alien to me, although the objects we are dealing with in this project are almost overwhelmingly mundane. How strange we might all appear glaring at Unit 1 for their discovery of a few bullet casings and pennies.  I also had this lingering sensation all day that millions of microscopic secrets were being sifted away and we would never Know New Buffalo….which is probably true.  I suppose it seems especially strange to me because I have little idea or experience of how to piece together these minute pieces into a meaningful conclusion about the people and ideas of New Buffalo.

Though I do enjoy the physical hardship necessary for acquiring knowledge in the field I must admit I that I have always been a bit of a head in the clouds nose in the books thinker and learner.  I am curious to tie the two realms together and see what is lost, what is gained.  Just as I would like to believe that the “social experiment” of communal living is not just a utopian ideal from a fleeting generation of weird but a feasible model of society I would also like to believe that beautiful ideas are not compromised in practicalities and quantification…though perhaps both desires require a reworking of notions of purity.


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