July 31, 2012


Sorry I haven’t written in a while. You know how it is in the summer when you are out of school, you just want to hang out and relax…no homework…no science projects…no papers to write…

Veronica says we should get ready for the school year, though, so I thought, “What better way to get back in practice writing than to write in my diary?!” So, Diary, let me tell you about my fantastic spring and early summer. (I had so many adventures I will probably need to take several diary entries to share them all with you.) Here is the first of my latest adventures.

Ft Hawkins Abby 2012 01

I love to park next to the blockhouse replica at Fort Hawkins! It is so historic (and it doesn’t hurt that it makes my multiple tonnage feel petite!)

In May, I returned to one of my regular haunts, Fort Hawkins in Macon. I know you will remember, Diary, that this is the cool fort on one of the tallest hills in Macon. In fact, I think I told you about Fort Hawkins twice, so I won’t repeat myself except to describe my latest visit there.

Ft Hawkins Abby 2012 02

Real Dan explains our latest discoveries to visitors.

The archaeologists with The LAMAR Institute returned to the fort for some quick, but important work. They were hoping to find evidence for where the northwestern blockhouse of the fort once stood. I wondered why they chose the spot they did to excavate, because there sure wasn’t ANYTHING there above ground. Clearly, there was no building now standing where they were excavating, between the fence and the road.

Ft Hawkins Abby 2012 03

Archaeologists and volunteers excavate specific areas of soil called features.

Then I heard Real Dan and Veronica talking about how they hoped to find the blockhouse because they would be digging in an area aligned with the palisade, that is, with the ditch that held the fence that encompassed the entire fort. I was still a bit confused until I heard them and the other archaeologists get all excited a few days later. Apparently, the soil that the blockhouse once stood on had been removed when the road was built. The archaeologists figured out where the building stood; however, because they found the end of the palisade ditch where it would have stopped next to the blockhouse wall. How exciting!

Ft Hawkins Abby 2012 04

Joneszie takes a break from using the total station laser transit to talk with visitors.

Of course, there is a lot more to archaeology than just making exciting discoveries. The archaeologists have to make extremely accurate maps showing where everything (like the blockhouse and the palisade) is located and where they excavated. To do this, they use a laser transit like the one in the picture. Joneszie (the guy on the right) is a really good archaeologist who, unlike many archaeologists, can also wield a mean transit! Here he does a little public outreach (another thing archaeologists do a lot) and explains what the archaeologists are doing at the site.

Another transit person on the site while we were there was a REAL surveyor (not just an archaeologist using survey equipment!) He worked very hard and helped the archaeologists by putting permanent markers in the ground so that they can always find their site grid. He also gave them some important pointers about their transit.

Speaking of visitors and public outreach….well, not to be boastful or anything, but that is what I, the ArchaeoBus, do best! I mean, I didn’t just go to Fort Hawkins to park and look pretty all day. I was there to work! In the gallery below are a few of my work photos.

And speaking of friends… who turned up to help but my old friend, David Farrier. And speaking of old friends, here’re to two of my three BFHF (Best Fort Hawkins Friends), with their backs to the camera, of course!!

Where’s Echo?

Click on gallery photos below to enlarge and show captions. Abby’s BFHF are in the final gallery photo.
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