thursday we realized we discovered the floor surface in the pit house. we first encountered it at around 830-9am and it was an exciting moment, to have already accomplished this objective of the day so early on. but then we lost it. the sage brush disturbance made sense and was not confusing. but as we worked through unit 2, next to unit 1 (where the first signs of “floor” were triumphantly brushed off…) the floor became less and less coherent until it simply wasn’t there anymore. so we set about finding it again. well, some of us did. the others of us slogged through irritating units, like unit 4, which was producing more work than artifacts and significantly less stimulating a unit than any we had opened so far. this is how it goes. (unit 4 did get better and has become quite exciting. the amount of fill we’ve lifted is incredible, and explains the early frustrations in some of the interior units.)
the morning felt slower somehow. and then it was largely white. white ash everywhere. had we hit another floor? dianne skeptically claimed this surface as a potential “fake floor”…where was the damned floor? could we really have blown through it without seeing it? was it really that roughly made that we wouldn’t be able to distinguish it? why did it feel like we were so deep in with more questions…?
we worked and worked and started finding similar surfaces to our first notion of the floor. so we began exposing those. finally it was 530pm. as we were closing and cleaning the site for the day, sev arrived to look over progress. and the news was good. we had indeed found floor and even had explored subfloor. all that ash, was volcanic from a jemez explosion…we had exposed a geologic layer – which began to make the pit house make more sense. for example, this is likely the reason that the wall above all the ash was so poorly formed and so poorly preserved. also probably why some of the structural integrity of the pit house was in question. the floor was indeed rough, inconsistent and difficult to recognize but there it was. we had found it. at 830am we had indeed found it!
prior to finding the pit house floor – we had exposed an excellent portion of the former walls. it was well preserved under the shadow of a viga (large beam supporting the roof) and looked to be an adobe wall with tierra blanca lightly plastered over it. excavating it felt as if excavating a roman frieze, i imagine. the soil over the surface of the wall face just popped off with a gentle but firm slight twist of the wrist, with the trowel dug just barely in. simple pressure revealed a gorgeous section of wall. i’ll get a photo of it later to put up here. we’ve found some more of it in unit 4, however, it was not nearly as well preserved and crumbled as soon as the trowel even grazed the edge…we’ve also found more of it in unit 6, holding up slightly better. again, i think this is because there is a viga still intact above it.
we looked at all the photos of the work so far – we’ve done 7.5 days of excavation and i must say the site looks GREAT. it really does. i’m impressed with the work we’ve done so far and am waaaaaay excited about the work we are continuing to do and am SO looking forward to the work ahead of us.
thanks team. you all are doing excellent work. truly!
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i noticed again tonight the way colors out here have been catching my eyes. as the sun is setting, the sky becomes awash in some of the most amazing arrays i’ve ever seen. colors that have no names and as soon as you think you’ve got a name that fits them perfectly, they’ve already become another color. the mountains really do turn pink, as historically they are known to do. though i’ve not seen it happen recently. i hope it does. it’s quite amazing. the sky however is a landscape unto itself. i wonder sometimes how a camera can even begin to imagine capturing any image in it – what kind of frame would do justice these scenes up there? which palettes would find just the tones and hues to represent the bold and subtle yellows, blues, greens, oranges and purples?
i noticed tonight something i’ve begun noticing since late winter/early spring – the way human lights mimic these colors in the sky. particularly as the sun is setting. even the unforgiving street lights with those awful bright white lights, mimic a certain blue and green light in the sky as it shifts into yellows, or from yellows – it’s there, the street lights like copies of this specific sunset moment. and the softer yellow lights, like in homes, glowing against adobe walls, mimic the softer yellows, and oranges of the sun as it slips further and further closer to the horizon and below. these were the ones i noticed tonight. mason’s room was in sync with an exact moment in the sunset that it seemed as if humans had designed artificial light to harmonize in a timely way with the natural light of the sun and its effects. perhaps. i do not know, but i do know that this is striking out here.