For the next couple of weeks. even though it is supposed to be UCT’s holiday, I won’t be able to blog as often as I like (well not on this blog in any way).
My holiday plans, if you were to ask, forms part of my degree. I have a compulsory archaeology dig, and this past week we have had prepping lectures.
Our dig site is in the Koeberg Nature Reserve, about 500-700m from the Koeberg power station. It is located on the west coast of South Africa. The sites official name is Duynefontein Duinefontein. The name, when translated, means dune fountain. Duynefontein (DFT) was first marked as a site with archaeological/palaeontological importance in 1956 by Jalmar Rudner. In 1973, G.A. Klein discovered the first in situ bones (Klein et al: 1999).
In the prep lectures, we focussed specifically on the area where we will be digging. For each of our mini lectures, we had professionals specialising in these fields who came to talk to us about specific aspects. We learned how to use the equipment, what types of bones and stone tools we will encounter and how to classify them. We looked at soil samples and how they can be used to date the site. We were also introduced to the methodologies that we will be using and heritage management and protection. We also looked at indicators of past environment and how it would have influenced the preservation of various objects.
It was kind of like a crash course into “What to do and expect in the field”. While in the field each member of the group will have a turn to try their hand at different aspects, like excavating, marking specific spots with the total station and being on tea duty (I believe that all ought to be interesting, some just more taxing than others).
As part of our course requirements, we have to keep a daily field notebook in which we are to document what happened on the site that day. This would include what job you had to perform that day and what you managed to accomplish. You also have to mention if there were any noteworthy finds or discoveries.
As part of making archaeology more accessible to the public, we have decided to launch a blog specifically for this site, and that is where you will find me for the next couple of weeks.
The link to the blog is https://dftarchproj.wordpress.com/ . Ironically the automated message at the moment (because we have not yet posted) reads “Nothing found”. The blog will mainly consist of daily updates and terrible puns. We will also have some photos of the site and research papers published on the specific site. Please feel free to join us on our adventure of discovery