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Monday, January 30, 2006

On farm Archaeology

I have been interested in archaeology for about 23 years. It all started in my lost years hanging out with a guy named Geoff Georgiady who introduced me to the wonders of walking around in bare muddy farm fields looking for points while drinking cheap beer.

At the time I was not in school and Geoff encouraged me to enroll at Miami and take a class from Dr Ron Spielbauer and I did and that was my first step towards getting a degree in anthropology at Miami U.

This in turn was the move that later in life (15 years later) would enable me to apply for and get a contract archaeology job where I would meet my future husband and farming partner, Eugene. Much of our Honeymoon consisted of seeing great earthworks of Ohio.

Jump forward from 1983 to 2006 and out new farm that is situated on a really hot area for potential archaeological finds.

Within days of moving both Eugene and I noticed a lot of chert eroding out of a hill side. At first we thought it was all brought in from somewhere else but now we are both thinking we have an honest to goodness outcropping of chert that has obviously been mined for a lot of years. And it is as high quality as the cherts coming from Flint Ridge over by Columbus/Newark.

Than Eugene started finding broken points in the beds he has been digging up. So far he has found 2 one tip and one base. I would go and look for heads but was unsuccessful until yesterday afternoon when I was looking at a freshly dug bed that had been well washed by overnight heavy rains and after walking the beds and looking for a half hour there was a nice point sticking out of the mud. I grabbed it and found myself in the possession of the top 1/3 of a serrated spear point made from the same material that the two Eugene has found. makes me wonder if the same person made all the points. We will never know the answer to that question.

Now it is tempting to forget farming and start putting in some units. There is definitely a site here and it just may be a significant one but the problem is finding someone who is qualified to do a project here. Eugene knows how to do the work, the research and write the papers but he does not have the Ph.D. to qualify his work (not to mention this would be pro bono work and we cannot afford to do that at this point in time-have a mortgage to pay). I am thinking about contacting my alma mater and asking them if they need a place to do their field school and offer up our place for digging for 8 weeks every summer until it is done.

All I know is something should be done about this potential site.

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