Monday, 12 August 2013

Lab Rats

A final week was spent in Whitehorse after we metaphorically crawled back from Dawson (the truck/camper had to be towed—but no need to get into that; we and it made it back). In this week we did archaeology, not the glamorous though filthy excavating and recovering of the holy grails, but the meticulous and necessary details.

Mainly this constituted of cataloguing, photographing, labeling, and storing our hundred or so artifacts.

It’s interesting to recreate a level, examine the cobbles and less obvious artifacts and find that they may in fact actually be something. But to know also that some of it is in fact nothing. And always to hope that enough notes and photographs were taken in the field to reveal the difference.

Things learned in lab:
1. You may think you have artistic ability, but archaeological illustrations can still be tedious.
2. Organization is key.
3. Little breaks can be helpful for a tired mind.
4. Happy music = a happy lab.
5. Artistic ability definitely does not apply to the tiny, practically invisible font needed for labeling artifacts.
6. Copious hours spent in a lab may cause you to wake yourself up in the middle of the night talking ice fracture or heat fracture debates. (Yes, this really happened to me—sad, I know).
7. Perfection must be sought at all times.
8. It may be time for another rock/mineral identification class for me.
9. An archaeologist should always have a geologist friend.
10. It is very satisfying to finish cataloging in the knick of time (I knew making myself learn to type fast in Gr. 7 would pay off one day).

Throw in a final on a Saturday morning, and it was a bit of a consuming week. But that’s what 24/7 Tim Horton’s and friends to study with are for. 

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